International Day of Happiness 2024: Celebrating Happiness Together.

International Day of Happiness is celebrated annually on 20th March with this year’s theme being Happiness Together.  In a world filled with uncertainty, each one of us can make a difference by connecting with others and building a kinder, stronger community and world.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition recognises the endless joy and happiness pets bring into our lives. Pet parents can attest to the happiness and comfort their pets provide and this is evident in countless research, including a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, which found that 86% of pet parents said their pets have a positive impact on their well-being. 69% found that their pets helped reduce stress and anxiety, and 66% said their pets provided a calming presence.


It is often said that the smallest things make the biggest difference, and this is so applicable as we strive to build a happier home, workplace, community, country and world.  When trying to build a happier community, we ourselves need to be happy and then from there we can share our happiness with others, creating a positive ripple effect.  


Marycke Ackhurst, pet behaviour expert from Hill’s Pet Nutrition says, “The unconditional love and happiness shared between pets and their pet parents serves as a reminder of the joy that can be found in connecting with others.” She suggests that this International Happiness Day you celebrate in ways that will benefit both you and your pet:


  • Take your dog for a walk. Physical exercise releases endorphins – our happy hormone and Vitamin D, which we get from the sun, has been linked to helping combat depression.  On the flip side, the exercise is good for your dog too and they will love the quality time with you. Why not shake things up a little bit and try a different walking path or location, that is dog friendly of course.    
  • Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the ‘cuddle chemical’, helps increase feelings of trust, relaxation, and empathy, while reducing stress and anxiety. Spending time with your pet and cuddling them will help your brain to start producing Oxytocin.
  • Play a simple game with your cat. Encourage them to chase after a catnip-filled toy mouse, or tie string to an empty toilet roll and pull it along the floor for them to catch. 
  • Find joy in watching your pet enjoy their food. Watching our pets enjoy their food by providing it in a novel way brings joy and happiness to us in return! Try using a snuffle mat for kibbles or stuff a toy with wet food.  Not only does this slow down their eating time but watching them figure it out and achieving success makes that happy, love connection even stronger.
Hills pet nutrition

Happiness is not just something that we experience, but something we can share with others. The happiness you experience when connecting with your pet can be shared with others, so that we can all work towards creating a brighter, kinder, and joyful world.

“This International Day of Happiness, let us spread and share this happiness by engaging in simple yet meaningful acts of kindness and compassion,” Ackhurst concludes.

Visit the Hill’s website for more information