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Animals and Mental Health

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. 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?

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

Caring for a pet can also help your mental health in others ways, including:

  • Increasing your physical activity
  • Providing companionship
  • Reducing anxiety 
  • Helping you meet new people
  • Adding structure to your day

With increased stress following 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 about pets and mental health. 

#FluffyFriday: Pet Profiles

Follow us on Instagram or X (formerly Twitter) to see regular features of pets from the McMaster community!

To submit your fluffy friend, email us a photo of your pet along with your pet’s name to or send us a direct message on Instagram or X.

Collage of 3 dogs and one cat with text that reads: Meet our February #FluffyFriday features!

Want to see more animals or adopt a fluffy friend?