May 26, 2024 - News

Why pet parents in Colorado are living their best lives

Illustration of a human hand and dog paw high fiving

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

If you own a dog or cat, chances are you're living a happier life than someone without one.

The big picture: That's according to Philip Tedeschi, founder of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver, and backed by a new poll from Rover.

Zoom in: Rover research found 74% of people with pets report being happy, while only 66% of people without pets feel the same way.

  • For starters, people with pets also report feeling more loved on a daily basis (52% vs. 44%, respectively).
  • Further boosting their mental health, pet owners also exercise and spend more time outside compared to their pet-free counterparts, with 72% getting outside for at least 30 minutes daily compared to 49%.

What they're saying: "The connection to a dog or cat can activate the neurotransmitters of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, and reduce the stress transmitters," lowering our anxiety and depression, Tedeschi said in a statement.

  • Animals "often seek our attention, alleviate our loneliness, and allow us to feel a sense of belonging," he added.

The bottom line: If you're sad and lonely, pets might be the prescription you've been missing.

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