How Do You Spell Happy? P-E-T-S

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

We live in an era where stress seems abundant — between our jobs, families and the distractions of modern technology, it’s important to remember to make time for ourselves.

For me, the best way to have “me time” is spending time with my four-legged family members! It’s instant gratification, relaxation and happiness for me and them, too!

They know when I’m not feeling well or had a bad day, and they’re right there to make everything better. There’s no way to stay in a bad mood when they look at you with those eyes showing complete unconditional love! I can’t wait to get home from work and be greeted at the door with a wagging tail and tender purrs. They’re there for me and are happy to see me. THAT is my happiness!

Besides our pets bringing us happiness, they also tend to lower levels of stress and anxiety for both kids and adults, as well as help lower blood pressure. Dog owners are more active than those who don’t have dogs, because we all know, when they gotta go, we gotta go! They also help to prevent social isolation because having a dog leads to more interaction with people. When you’re out walking a dog, you tend to talk to people more than when you’re alone because dogs seem to “open a door” to conversation.

It’s also said people/dog interactions result in an increase in dopamine levels in the brain for both humans and dogs, which also leads to more happiness!

Studies show that cats can also trigger calming chemicals in the body, also decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Plus, cat owners are less likely to be at risk for having a stroke than any other pet owner, and cats even reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Having a cat can release oxytocin in your body, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust.

Our pets don’t care what we look like or what job we have; they don’t care how much money we make or what kind of car we drive. They simply want kindness, someone to care for them and provide loving attention. In return we receive the gift of their trust, loyalty and unconditional love.

I really can’t think of anything that brings me more happiness than my pets; how about you?