Nothing Compares to a Pet


Jenna Graziano, Staff Writer/ Media Production

Nothing compares to the feeling of coming home to your friendly pet. The amount of love and company pets can provide is astonishing. They can also decrease stress, anxiety, improve heart health and help children with their emotional and social skills. 

James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, stated,” A growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals”- whether its a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals- will have less risk of allergies and asthma.” 

While playing with a pet, especially a dog, the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your body increase. In other words, your positive moods and emotions increase, and your mood turns to be happy. 

Some pets are known to be a person’s best friend. 

Gabby Hanson, a sophomore, explained,” My dog helps me get through life’s obstacles because she is always there to listen to me rant, complain, cry, etc. She does not like boys, and she hates Spanish tests.” 

What if you don’t like dogs? There are plenty of other animals that can help humans. 

Dr. Layla Esposito, who oversees NIH’S Human-Animal Interaction Research Program, shared,” If your goal is reducing stress, sometimes watching fish swim can result in a feeling of calmness. So there’s no one type that fits all.” 

Animals can also serve as a source of calmness and support. Therapy animals are extremely good at this and serve a great purpose. They will sometimes go into nursing homes, hospitals and even schools. 

At Carolina Forest High, Caroline Kay, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and has a lovely service dog. Penny, a female apricot doodle, alerts and stays by Caroline’s side every single day. If Caroline’s blood sugar gets extremely low or extremely high, Penny will use her paw, lick or jump on her. 

Kay commented,”I’m thankful for Penny because it is really helpful to have another tool to help me manage diabetes, one that is more reliable than technology sometimes. She helps me and my family sleep a little better at night.”  

Pets also bring new responsibilities. Knowing when and how to take care or feed an animal is an extremely important factor in owning a pet. Most childrens dream is to get a pet and will do anything to receive one. This can be a perfect way to help mature your child. 

Most pet owners are aware of the joy that they bring their owners. At the same time, many of us are unaware of the physical and mental health they bring us. By providing companionship for older adults, pets also provide real joy and unconditional love to your life.  According to, dog owners tend to live longer than non-owners. They also often recover better from major health issues, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Despite all the hard work and time it takes to have a pet, it is truly beneficial to our mental and physical health.  Have you hugged your pet today?