Cuddle with a Furry Friend

By Josey Murray
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
January 31, 2024

Have you ever heard of the pet effect? It’s the idea that people benefit from having companion animals around. If you have a pet, you know that it’s hard to deny just how much they make you feel better.

In one study, at 10 random times every day over five days, researchers contacted 55 people who owned a dog or cat. During these contacts, each participant reported whether their pet was present, whether they were interacting with them, and whether their current mood was positive or negative. The participants reported a more positive mood when they had higher interaction with their pets.