The Power of Pets

The science behind pets and happiness

Addison Bell, Reporter

 There is nothing better than coming home to see a furry face, a wagging tail, and a lapping tongue ready to give you that unconditional love you’ve been missing all day. 

But what you may not know is just how much pets truly contribute to our happiness. 

Pets provide companionship that is proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They are attuned to human emotions not just so they know when their next walk will be, but so they can help boost your mood. 

Senior Emily Nitz has had countless experiences with this so-called magic, having had 17 pets over her lifetime and 7 pets currently.  

 “Somehow pets always know when something is wrong and something as simple as my dog resting her head on my leg can improve my mood,” Nitz said. 

Interacting with animals releases the hormone Oxytocin, which is responsible for a sense of comfort and calm. Senior Ashtyn Grissom knows the feeling well, especially when snuggling her cat Pearl or her dog Bullet.  

“I love knowing I’m their favorite person in the world, I know they love me without having to think about anything else going on and it makes me feel calm,” Grissom said. 

 The bonds we create with our animals are unmatched. The moment you lock eyes, you both make an unbroken promise to love each other forever. This sense of belonging improves your overall health and happiness. 

“My pets contribute to my happiness by being there for me. My dog, Saige, is always so excited to see me when I come home from school, which always makes me smile,” Nitz said. 

Believe it or not, animals represent important social relationships. They improve your social support and act as another family member. Having this relationship with your pet gives you somebody to lean on for support and the best part is they’ll love you no matter what.

“I think companionship is always good, having something that cares for you that you also care for is important,” Grissom said. 

The science behind the benefits of pets are certainly interesting but really none of it matters because their unconditional love is enough.

“They make the house whole. I couldn’t imagine life without them,” Nitz said.