How Dogs Benefit Our Health

How Dogs Benefit Our Health

Elena Nasar, Avery Kalter, Head Writers

As middle schoolers, we have many responsibilities that result in feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Aside from school, there are sports, clubs, and family commitments to think about.  The load can be too much for our young minds to handle. Sometimes, it’s too hard to express our feelings to one of our peers because we are afraid of judgment, and this is where dogs come in. A pet can allow us to cope and overcome the anxiety we may be facing. Dogs are known to bring comfort to their owners, especially when they are in a state of pressure since communicating can be tough with others. When we think of the furry, loving creatures known as dogs we often think of them as companions that we can walk, feed, and pet, but we don’t always reflect on how they are more than a pet. They are a friend, someone that we can rely on in times of need.

According to, in 2017, 13% of US teens said they had experienced at least one depressive episode, and as shown through research, school and social media are large factors in these. Life is so different nowadays than it was in the past, not only due to social media but the pandemic which warped our lives. Dogs have truly made an impact on us. In fact, in France, the dog ownership rates increased rapidly during COVID lockdowns because walking a dog was the only time people were allowed to leave their apartment. Dogs may be hard to handle, but several pieces of research show that they improve your physical health by allowing you to get more exercise, and they ease loneliness and decrease depression and anxiety.

Physically, having a dog is so crucial because you are getting more exercise when playing with your dog. For instance, running outside with your dog reduces blood pressure and the likelihood of developing heart disease. Some might think entertaining your dog is a chore, but really it is shown that playing with your dog can boost oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings in your body. Not only can having a dog benefit you physically, but it also has several social benefits. For instance, most dog owners take their dogs to the park, where not only do the dogs socialize but so can you. You are surrounded by people like you who are dog owners, which can spark conversation and be a way for you to connect. Studies show that dogs teach responsibility which can benefit a student’s mental health. A majority of the time when students fall into a depressive episode it is because they have lost control of their schoolwork and have lost structure in their daily lives; having the authority of caring for a dog can give you a sense of purpose and a feeling of structure. 

Ultimately, dogs have been scientifically proven to provide you with several benefits, making them a great option as a pet or in other words, a friend. Sometimes, your dog can actually be your best friend in stressful times. Even if there are downsides to having a dog, the upsides are much better and they make you realize the value of your cute, furry pet. Now there is only one thing left to do, consider a dog.