If you are a dog lover, you probably get a naturally happy reaction when you're around dogs, even if you're not in a good mood. Dogs are a source of happiness for many owners around the world, but why? What is it about dogs that make us feel good?
Dopamine is the chemical in our brain that makes us “feel good.” When we just see a dog dopamine is released in our brains and we instantly get happier! This means owning a pet can reduce stress, help with anxiety, and probably make you happier in the long run. (Keep in mind owning a pet is a major responsibility, and NOT a cure-all!)
Dogs are good for your health in other ways, too. The CDC has written that owning a dog can lower your cholesterol and triglycerides which lowers your risk for heart disease. Petting/cuddling your pet can reduce your blood pressure, which helps reduce anxiety symptoms. Dogs also keep you moving! Whether its walking, running, chasing them around the house, etc. dogs cause us to move more than we would without them.
Dogs (and other pets) make us feel happier when they're around. They keep us active and social, aid in reducing symptoms of anxiety, and much more. So next time you give your pup some love, remember how much they're doing for you, too!