The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Animal companions

How having animals can improve your life

Our friends and family support us in troubling times, giving us the emotional support we need while also looking out for each other. They take care of us when we are down, embrace and love us, and are overall great people to have in our lives. Animals are part of our family too, the ones who make us smile with their silly behavior and adorable faces. Our furry, scaled, and feathered companions love us unconditionally, no matter what circumstances.

Some animals are used to help aid people with health conditions. Service dogs, cardiac alert dogs, seizure alert dogs, and more can be trained to do a variety of tasks to help make life easier for those with impending medical conditions. Some can be emotional service animals who help us in the roughest moments of our lives, and most of all, they are a part of our family.

Taking time out of your day to cherish and interact with household animals can help lower cortisol levels. This is the stress hormone that can spike adrenaline, as well as triggering the “flight or fight” response in our bodies. Petting and playing with our pets can release oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. Oxytocin is an endorphin, like serotonin, that can help you relax and release tension. The repetitive behavior of petting animals can also be soothing, while also possibly improving mood.

Our companions can also provide loyal companionship to those around them. They will love you unconditionally. Pets can decrease the feeling of loneliness, especially if you live alone. Having another presence in your home can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress related mental health issues.

Story continues below advertisement

In addition, having pets can help bring more structure and routine to your life. Normal feeding times, playing or going out on walks, and exercising with them can help you establish a daily routine. Establishing a daily routine like this can help you take breaks throughout the day, and help you destress and wind down multiple times a day.

Having animal companions can also assist those who are neurotypical. These people can benefit from animal interactions by reinforcing proper social cues, physical interactions, as well as building confidence and healthy socialization. Starting out with an animal can get them comfortable with communicating and understanding others needs. Our pets have unlimited loyalty and patience, and sometimes that is all that is needed for those who are struggling.

You can also benefit from your four legged companions by taking them on walks or to an animal park. While you are enjoying your time spent with your animal, you are also absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D can help regulate mood while also helping regulate serotonin and melatonin. Exercising, even if only a few times a week, can help improve overall health and quality of life. It gets the blood pumping and also reduces the risk for chronic conditions like obesity, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Most importantly, you can enjoy spending quality time with your pet.

Overall, having animal companions helps a great deal with navigating through life, and helps improve overall mental and physical health. In order to get an animal, you need to think properly about how your lifestyle, home, and routine can affect them. Their presence makes life better, but we also need to be aware of their needs and desires in order to properly care for them like they do with us. It is important we take care of our animals, because they may not be here for long.

For more information, please visit or

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All the JTAC Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *