Pets are beloved by millions of Americans as friends and companions. Having a pet has many benefits. Recently I talked with Tracy Lewandowski from Great Plains SPCA, Casey Waugh from Wayside Waifs, and Olivia Sabal, a JCCC student, about the benefits to having a pet. Both Wayside Waifs and Great Plains SPCA are non-profit animal shelters helping animals in the Kansas City area. One of the things we discussed was how pets help reduce stress and anxiety.
(Tracy Lewandowski) “There are lots of studies that show that living with pets reduces stress. They can reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure and all of that too.”
Pets also encourage us to get outside and exercise.
(Casey Waugh) “A lot of times they get you up and going and they provide exercise and get your blood moving, which is something that a lot of humans need right now.”
(Lewandowski) “It’s great to get out and get a little exercise with your dog, maybe get out in nature. You know, they introduce you to things that you might not have otherwise done.”
(Olivia Sabal) “Well, he definitely gets me outside, and like to do exercise. Now we just go on family walks all together, because there’s nothing better to do.”
One of the greatest benefits to having a pet is their unconditional love towards you.
(Waugh) So it’s definitely true when people say that pets give you unconditional love. They do. They don’t judge you. They don’t care what you’re wearing or what color your hair may be. Those kinds of things that human beings, sometimes judge you for.
(Lewandowski) “No matter what, no matter your mood, your pet is there for you. Whether you’re happy, sad, grumpy, they’re going to love you.”
(Waugh) “I think my favorite thing is just having another something with personality to interact with and to be able to just give him all the attention he could possibly desire.”
During this dark time, having a pet who you can interact with can be a huge help to mental and emotional health. For someone who is living on their own during social distancing, their pet may be the only creature they’re able to see face to face.
(Lewandowski) “Our pets are incredible companions, more so right now than ever. They bring comfort when we’re sad. I mean, there are a lot of sad things that are happening right now.”
No matter what’s going on, pets bring companionship and happiness into our lives. From the Campus Ledger, I’m Zion Lang.