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Do Dogs Make People Happy?

Do dogs make people happy? Let’s first find out the definition of happy to determine what it means to people. Happy is defined as feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Happiness is a sense of wellness or joy. And It’s the opposite of sadness. When you are practicing a healthy lifestyle you will also have a happy mind and body. Happiness can improve your health by reducing stress and lowering the risk of diseases.

DO DOGS MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY? - girl hugging dog

I want to share these 6 keys to happiness that I think are important: live in the now, exercise to be happy, be generous, help others, smile or laugh out loud, surround yourself with positive people. My favorite is to surround yourself with positive people because I know when I’m surrounded by positivity I feel better. So let’s talk about dogs and do dogs make people happy?

As some of you know I have 2 dogs that are both rescues. They joined our family at different times and have impacted our family in many ways. Since I’m the main caretaker of the dogs and they do have health issues, it takes up some of my time. I never knew before that rescue dogs would have so many health issues. This is just my experience but I highly recommend to always look for ways to rescue a dog first. Just be prepared that it could cause increased vet bills and a time commitment. With proper diet and necessary nutrients they can be healthy companions. I recommend this resource for starting and keeping a healthy path with a dog. Click here for my recommended resource.

Do dogs make people happy? - dogs photo ad about fleahex

How do dogs increase your mood?

Some people thrive when they have a companion so why not have a dog? They listen well and they don’t talk back. A study done in 2019 has proven that petting a dog can calm anxiety and decrease loneliness. In older adults especially owning a dog promoted companionship, increased socialization, gives a sense of purpose and gives a sense of meaning. These are all benefits to improving and maintaining mental health in older adults.

For children and young adults, having a dog can help in many ways. They help to increase exercise, reduce depression, and help with a sense of achievement. Helping with a sense of achievement is accomplished when a person is taking care of a pet by feeding, walking and playing with the pet. The act of petting a dog can calm and relax a younger person when stressed or anxious.

Having a dog can help children with autism or ADHD. They can largely benefit from handling a dog and caring for a dog. They can help with feeding, walking and playing with the dog everyday. Playing with a dog releases energy and helps children with autism or ADHD be calmer at night.

Check out this video from a vet, Dr. Dobias, on 7 tips to keep your dog healthy and happy:

Do dogs make you live longer?

A study done in 2019 by the American Heart Association, proves that people have a 24% risk reduction for death for any cause. The study found that people were less likely to die from heart disease most likely due to the increase in outdoor physical activity like walking the dog or playing. In addition, a professor from Tulane School of Medicine, Keith C. Ferndinand, says dogs support many factors dealing with health including improving mental and physical health and cardiovascular diseases. I would agree dogs can make us live longer. It’s such a good feeling to have a companion that is so loyal like a dog.

What is the cuddle chemical and love hormone?

Have you heard of Oxytocin? It’s also known as the cuddle chemical or love hormone. When we pet a dog the human brain produces Oxytocin which is a hormone in our body. It helps us reduce stress and anxiety. And also increases feelings of relaxation, empathy and trust. Dogs can be seen helping at college campuses for students during testing time. There are also therapy dogs that visit at hospitals to help patients. So pet a dog and see how you feel.

What are the benefits of having a dog?

According to Psychology Today, science has proven that dogs do make people happy. There are many benefits that can help people of all ages with mental and physical health. Here is a list:

  • Dogs improve your mood
  • Dogs make you feel loved
  • Dogs lower your stress
  • Dogs help you to be social
  • Dogs keep you healthy and fit

How do we keep our dogs happy?

It’s only fair that if we are happy that we do everything possible to keep our dogs happy. But what if you notice the signs and you know your dog isn’t feeling well. Maybe the signs would be low energy, not eating, not breathing properly or not urinating regularly. It’s important to keep your dog on a healthy well-balanced diet with the proper nutritional value. If you want to learn more about caring for your dog please click here. There are lots of wonderful articles to educate you on becoming the best dog parent you can be. Dogs help us with our wellness so let’s be sure to help them back.

Do Dogs Make People Happy?

Click here for my other article about dogs

Click here for my article on 20 tips for a healthy lifestyle

Do dogs make people happy? I think so but I encourage you to think carefully when deciding on getting a dog. Having a dog is a big responsibility but so rewarding. There is also an expense that comes with dog ownership like purchasing food, treats, vet bills and such. The health and wellness benefits are amazing! Please comment below and let me know if you have had an experience owning a dog. Do you have any tips for owning a dog? I would love to hear from you! My dogs make me so happy and I’m glad they are part of our family!

Here are my dogs for you to see. Peachy is the white dog and Buddy is the brown dog. Both are rescues and the best dogs ever!

do dogs make people happy?do dogs make people happy?

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11 thoughts on “Do Dogs Make People Happy?”

  1. Do dogs make people happy? Yes! Dogs are such wonderful companions and I definitely consider them part of the family.

    It seems incredible to me that there are so many health benefits to owning a dog but when I look at the information in more detail, dogs provide so many positives to humans that it makes sense that so many health benefits would occur as a result.

    Dogs are such wonderful pets to have and bring so much joy to so many people’s lives. Thank you for reminding us of this in the great article!

  2. Excellent article Alyse as always!! I’m glad you mentioned the fact that having a pet actually does help people live longer. Not many people would believe that. Good tips in there as well.

  3. I agree with your article with a resounding YES! I am a dog lover and have been since I was a kid. My favorite dogs I’ve owed: a German Shepherd (my favorite breed) and 3 Newfoundlands. (They ranged from 135 to 180 pounds).

    If I were to give advice, it would be to follow Cesar Milan’s (The Dog Whisperer), advice: Exercise, Discipline, Affection… in that order.

    If dogs are not getting enough exercise they will tend to be out of control because they have a bunch of pent up energy. Once they’ve expended the excess energy, they are easier to train and discipline. When they are calm and submissive as you teach them to be, then is the time to give affection.

  4. Alyse,

    Dogs definitely make me happier, I will say. My kids also love all the dogs and I do think it helps them with understanding how to care for pets at a young age. Mind you, I have to remind them to feed the dogs, take them outside and so forth. Otherwise, the poor dogs would go inside the house all the time and stave to death.

    But it’s cute when they want to take them for walks and show their friends all our dogs. They also have Tik Tok and I only let them video the dogs and not themselves.

    As for myself, my Atlas is my companion every day. I can’t describe the bond we have with each other, but she gets very mad at me if I leave her here while I go somewhere. She’s always watching after me and gets upset if she can’t protect me. Even if I get out of the car and there’s a person nearby, she starts to yelp if she’s not there with me to protect me. She watches after the kids as well, but for some reason she’s very protective of me.

    Great article! Love this!


  5. Alyse,

    What cracks me up is I half expected to see only the big word “YES” on this page, but it was a great read. Both of our girls are rescues as well, and they’re getting up there in age. Zoey is 12 and we think Ruby is around the same age but she came from a puppy mill so we don’t know how old she is.

    Anyway, both of them are also incredible support. Zoey has actually alerted people when I’ve had a seizure, without being taught. She knows something is wrong and she gets help. Ruby has done this a few times as well, ut not quite as effectively because Zoey can bark and herd people to where she wants them to go (she’s a Border Collie/Aussie mix).

    I can’t imagine my life without my girls, it’s been hard seeing them get older knowing I’ll have to say goodbye someday.

    Thank you for this article,

  6. Absolutely! I am a dog lover and completely agree, dogs definitely make people happy. I’ve had my beagle/terrier mix rescue, Jasper, for 11 years now and he is always by my side. I call him my 3rd child. I give him all the credit for getting me outside and walking every day.
    I really like the part where you talk about how WE can keep our dogs happy and healthy. Thank you for another great article!


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