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Happiness Tip: Hang Out with Your Pet

We recently adopted a dog, which has given me a new perspective on how animals bring happiness to humans. We were certainly happy before we met Buster (pictured below), but rarely have I seen a sentient bring so much sheer joy into a family.

Buster PortraitI’m not surprised that research shows that greater health and happiness can come from caring for a pet. One study tracked “hypertensive stockbrokers” who adopted a cat or dog; caring for their new animals lowered their blood pressure more than prescribed medicine! And you may have heard about the study that found that dog-owners tend to get more exercise than folks without a dog. Exercise is, of course, a sure way to boost health and happiness.

Take Action: This week, find a cat to pet, a dog to walk, or a fish to feed. If you feel noticeably calmer after the experience, consider adopting!

Join the Discussion: Do your pets — or the idea of pets, if you don’t have them — bring more or less joy into your life? What about stress? Share in the comments.


  1. zBrowelli says:

    My son, 15, had been asking for a puppy since he was very little and I had resisted as I thought it would mean more work for me. I could not have been more wrong. We all love our little dog and take great pleasure in everything he does. One thing I have loved is the camaraderie in the dog park. I had no idea I could meet so many new people and have such great conversations with strangers. My son says that its really nice to go to the park with Baxter as it is the only time that adults (that don’t know him) actively want to engage in a conversation with him. Baxter is fun and loving and makes us stop and take pleasure in something as simple as playing with him. He has added a whole new dimension to our life.

  2. L.A. Paveling says:

    From experience with our little white dog, Mokete, the joy Buster brings to the Carter family, will continue to grow and amaze. Our dog’s happiness, and her eager curiosity to fully live each moment, appears limitless. Mokete unconditionally shares her awareness and attention with our family…such a great gift, this joyful celebration of living. (Mokete is the Sesotho word for ‘celebration’) Of course, we also like the walks we take together. Having a dog means we’ve learned to appreciate being outside several time a day in every kind of weather 🙂

  3. Dimple M Tahilramani says:

    Yes, just the thought of an animal like a dog or a cow brings a Smile on my face besides filling my heart with Happiness and Love. Even though I don’t have a pet of my own, feeding a stray on the street brings me a good amount of Joy as well and serves as an effective stress buster so to say 🙂

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