5 Reasons volunteering at a dog shelter will make you happier

Photo Credited to: Laurie from PUP

There are many benefits of becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter or animal foundation. From improving your health to making news friends — volunteering will give you a more fulfilling, happy life.

1. Meet new furry AND human friends.

Of course going to a shelter, you’re expecting to make friends with the many dogs and cats around. However, there are other animals at shelters; such as, birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Furry friends are always awesome to have, but human friends that share the same interest as you can be just as great! Socializing with people at the shelter might not be the number one reason you’re there, but it will most likely happen anyways. Socializing with those that are just as passionate about helping out animals as you could very much lead to lifelong friendships!

2. Gain Experience and Resources.

Every shelter has a variety of jobs you can do to help out. These jobs range from answering phones to dog walking to helping with pet adoptions. Anyone who chooses to volunteer with indeed gain experience they can apply to their lives outside of the time spent in the shelter. Volunteering requires setting aside time, or a set schedule separate from your everyday work or school life. Learning how to juggle multiple tasks as well as being responsible for your job at the shelter is a challenge. However, it is an important ability to acquire. Volunteering also looks great on resumes and job applications. Thus, doing your part to help animals in need will benefit you in many ways.

3. Immensely improve your mental health!

The room illuminates with smiles and “awwwws” as soon as a dog is spotted. Most people instantaneously feel a sense of happiness when seeing a cute, furry animal in their surroundings. Imagine all the dog “aww”-ers out there volunteering at a shelter. Imagine the amount of joy that would flourish. Volunteering is a feel-good, euphoric activity. Those that volunteer gain a sense of achievement, higher energy, and a more positive state of mind. “According to a survey by the United Health Group, 96 percent of people who volunteered over the last 12 months said volunteering enriches their sense of purpose.” Want an easy way to improve your emotional state? Call the nearest SPCA and volunteer for an hour!

4. Staying busy is a good way to stay active!

Too much television and social media can be a bit exhausting, and physically unhealthy for your mind and body. Volunteering is an excellent way to keep busy and possibly exercise. My personal favorite is going on a nice morning hike with a shelter dog. Both you and the shelter dog will benefit from a short one hour walk around the community. You may think loading your schedule with another activity will cause more stress. But, time spent around dogs and cats have proven to be a detox or stress reliever for many. Why not take the opportunity to play with a puppy or kitten?

5. Try Something New!

Another way to keep your mind and body happy and healthy is to switch things up a bit! Can you think of a better hobby that will make you happier than playing with animals? Break the cycle of work, school, work, school, and join a charity that will truly make a difference for an animal’s life. Starting something new is exciting and healthy. Finding out that you helped an animal get to their forever home will be the best news of your day! So be adventurous. Be courageous. Become a volunteer!

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