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Five Benefits of Having a Dog in College

Owning a dog in college has many benefits for students. Although owning a dog can increase expenses, the benefits are well worth the cost. Not convinced? Well, here are five benefits of owning a dog as a student.

Reduce Stress

College students experience an overwhelming type of stress that can heavily affect their everyday lives. Owning a dog, however, offers numerous emotional benefits.  According to USA Today, “research shows that interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol — or stress hormone — in people and increases endorphins, known as the happiness hormone.” Therefore, owning a dog while in college is scientifically proven to reduce stress — and who wouldn’t want that?

Reduce Depression, Anxiety and Loneliness

Not only does owning a dog reduce stress, but it is also proven to reduce depression, anxiety and loneliness. According to another USA Today article, college students are more vulnerable to depression than others. In fact, one-third of college students have faced depression in the past year. Owning a dog, however, can help reduce and prevent such mental illness. “Even when I have the worst day, Charlie is always there to greet me with a smile and ratty old toy,” Sydney Burdette, dog owner, said.

You Learn Responsibility

Dog owners are responsible for taking their dog to the bathroom, feeding them and playing with them. They are also responsible for keeping the house clean and planning ahead so the dog is not alone for too long. All these aspects can teach responsibility and help keep an organized life. “Dolly makes me stay organized with my schedule because I have to manage my time around her,” EmmaGrace Cline, dog owner, said.

You’ll Go Outside More

Part of the responsibility of owning a dog is taking them outside to exercise. Whether it’s going on a walk or just taking them to the park, getting outside is a must. This “chore” also ensures that you get outside as well. In fact, many dog owners actually exercise more than those without dogs. According to a study led by Glenn Levine, a cardiologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, “dog owners are 54% more likely than other adults to get recommended levels of exercise.” Talk about a healthy lifestyle!

You Can Save a Life 

Giving a dog a good home to live in is reason enough to get a dog in college. Although many students still get dogs from breeders, some choose to get their dog from local shelters in order to cut costs and save a life. “Adopting Beau from the Lee County Humane Society is the best decision I ever made in college,” Austin Pitchford said. “I saved his life and he made mine infinitely better.”

Owning a dog in college has numerous benefits on mental health, physical health and lifestyle. “Sam is simply one of my best companions,” Kendall Steele said. “I don’t know who wouldn’t want that.”

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