Get MindfulHappiness The Power of Pets

Happiness: The Power of Pets

19 March 2024

You know what's truly underrated? The power of our furry, feathery, and scaly companions – those lovable pets who bring so much joy and warmth into our lives! 

It's something many of us instinctively know, and now, science is stepping in to support it – spending time with any companion pet has a bunch of incredible benefits for our health and overall well-being. Whether it's a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, or even a reptile, the positive impact of our pets knows no bounds! So, let's dive into the wonders of our furry, feathery, and scaly friends and all the goodness they bring into our lives:


1. Increase Feelings of Happiness:

Just being around our beloved pets can instantly boost our mood. Whether it's petting a dog, cuddling with a cat, or talking to a bird, these interactions release feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, making us feel happier and more content.


2. Lower Stress Levels:

Feeling overwhelmed? Fret not! Spending time with any companion pet has been scientifically shown to lower stress levels. Their presence alone has a calming effect on our nervous system, helping us feel more relaxed and at ease.


3. Boost Feelings of Well-being:

Our animal friends have an amazing way of making us feel cared for and loved. The companionship of any pet can greatly enhance our sense of well-being and emotional security.


4. Find Calm in a Crisis:

When life throws us a curveball, having a furry, feathery, or scaly confidante by our side can be incredibly reassuring. Our pets have an uncanny ability to bring us comfort and a sense of stability, even in the most challenging times.


5. Combat Loneliness:

Ever felt a little lonely? Pets are the perfect antidote! Whether it's the unconditional love of a dog, the gentle purring of a cat, or the chirping of a bird, their presence can fill our hearts and help us feel less alone.


6. Lower Blood Pressure:

Our animal pals aren't just good for the soul; they're also good for our bodies! Interacting with companion pets has been linked to reduced blood pressure, promoting heart health and overall well-being.


No matter the species, pets can bring us immense joy, love, and positive energy. So, whether you have a dog, cat, bird, hamster, or even a reptile as a companion, cherish and appreciate the happiness they bring into your life. 

If you don’t have a pet of your own on hand for dopamine snuggles, check out your local animal shelter or rescue centre. 


Find Help NI was catching up with Sarah Giles, who has volunteered with The Barn Animal Rescue, in Newtownards, since 2018. 

“I have been helping out at the BARN Animal Rescue in Newtownards for around four years now. Working directly with the dogs has really helped my anxiety and mental health. Whether it’s feeding, cleaning the kennels or just taking a dog out for a walk in the sunshine and fresh air socialising, it lifts my mood and helps me have a positive outlook on life. 



I see the trust and love in the dogs eyes when they know they are going out for a walk and there is nothing better than entering the kennels first thing in the morning and the dogs knowing you and why you are there. They get so excited and can’t wait to jump up and say a good morning to you. Every dog has its own personality and once at the shelter for a while you can learn what they like and what makes them happy just by watching how they react with you. 


I would without doubt recommend helping out at your local animal shelter if you need that break from the grind of daily life. The love and friendship expressed by a shelter dog is next to nothing.”

There are animal rescue centres all over NI, so why not reach out and see if there are any opportunities to volunteer? Or visit one of our Open Farms across the province where you can often feed lambs, and be with farm animals - another joyful experience!

So, next time you see a wagging tail, hear a cheerful chirp, or feel a soft purr, go ahead and give your pet an extra cuddle or a treat. Show your appreciation and really tune into the gratitude you feel for all the happiness, love, and positive impact they can have on your life. 


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KEYWORD TAGS: anxiety depression

If you are experiencing distress or are in a mental health crisis please contact
Lifeline on 0808 808 8000


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