If you have a pet, you likely know about the unconditional love and affection they give. If feels really good, right? It turns out that interacting with a pet can support good health, too. Cuddling or stroking your pet can ease stress, anxiety, and depression. It may support your immune system and lower blood pressure. Playing or cuddling with a cat or dog can raise dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These feel-good hormones can help keep you calm and lift your spirits.
Keep in mind that caring for a pet takes time, energy, money, and a long-term commitment. If you don’t have these—think about volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue group to get your fur fix.