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Mental Health at McMaster

Prioritizing Optimal Health & Well-being at McMaster

Animals and Mental Health

We all know that nothing beats the happiness and warmth we feel when we get to pet, cuddle and be around animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish and more, our loving companions have a meaningful impact on our lives. But what exactly is the connection between animals and our mental health?

Research shows that animals can boost our mood, calm us and help us build relationships. Interacting with animals actually causes your body to produce serotonin and dopamine which help offset depression and anxiety.

 

Why we love animals!

We all know that nothing beats the happiness and warmth we feel when we get to pet, cuddle and be around animals. Research shows that animals can boost our mood, calm us and help us build relationships.  

Caring for a pet can help our mental health in many ways, including: 

  • increasing your physical activity.  

  • providing companionship.  

  • reducing anxiety 

  • helping you meet new people.  

  • adding structure to your day. 

With increased stress around the pandemic, pet ownership can be even more beneficial. According to a survey conducted by Vetster, 71.4% of respondents said their pet helps lower their stress levels. 86% said that being a pet owner reduces feelings of loneliness. And 86% said their pet has helped provide them with emotional support since the pandemic specifically. 

Learn more  

#FluffyFridays: Weekly Pet Profiles

There is nothing cuter than seeing pictures of animals on Instagram! Check out our Instagram page to see our weekly highlight of McMaster’s pets.

To submit your fluffy friend, email us a couple pictures of your pet along with your pet’s name to okanagan@mcmaster.ca. You can also DM us your pictures over Instagram.

All submissions will be entered into a monthly draw for a prize pack from the McMaster Okanagan Committee. 

Fluffy Friday

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CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF ANIMALS? CHECK OUT WHERE YOU CAN SEE MORE!

Triple C Farm - Livestock Sanctuary and Petting Farm Learn More

Located in Ancaster, this farm has a petting farm and offers goat yoga!

Twin Valley Nature Park Learn More

Located in Brantford

LOOKING TO ADOPT A FLUFFY FRIEND?

Ladybird Animal Sanctuary Learn More

Currently Ladybird does not have a physical location but they are fundraising to purchase a farm. Adoptable animals are housed with foster homes in an around the Hamilton area. You can visit their website to see more about who is looking for a forever home.