How Animals Can Help Students Relieve Stress


School can be overly stressful at times, and it is not always easy to get rid of that stress. However, having a pet or even being able to see one during the day can help lower the ridiculously high levels of stress high school students are under.

Kana Mullee, Staff Writer

A survey by the American Psychological Association found that 45 percent of teens said they were stressed by school pressures. There are a lot of things about school that stresses  teenagers out including homework and getting into a good college.


Because of this, students are constantly looking for ways to help decrease their stress levels. Some kids do extracurricular activities while others drop their harder classes. However, one of the most common and helpful ways for students to let go of stress is to adopt an animal.


There is  something that is very comforting about coming  home after an exhausting day of school work and being greeted by a cute ball of fluff. For most, having a pet is the best way to relax after a stressful day at school.


As a matter of fact, there was a study taken where people were told to participate in stressful tasks in four different situations: alone, with their spouse, with their pet or with both their spouse and their pet. When they were only with their pet, they experienced the lowest stress response and quickest recovery.


Brief encounters with animals can create improvements in stress levels, but stronger pet-owner bonds usually lead to the greatest amount of stress relief. People who spend small amounts of time with animals, like dogs, before a stressful experience can experience a 37 percent reduction in their anxiety levels. This drop in anxiety levels may be due to the animal’s presence being able to help distract people from their concerns.


Pets are powerful forms of stress relief. They not only lower blood pressure but also harmful stress hormones, like those that are associated with depression and anxiety. They also elevate beneficial hormones that cause happiness and relaxation. Some people even experience an increase of endorphins and dopamines outputted after only five minutes with an animal.  


Animals can help teens with more than just mental issues. On average, people who own animals get more exercise than those who do not, especially dog owners. Exercise is another great way to manage stress and is experienced when you have to take your dog out on a walk. These walks usually happen more often and longer than if you were doing it  to work out. Plus, it is more motivating since the person has a sense of responsibility to walk the dog. While most people do not walk their cats, it does not mean you do not have to use energy when getting up to get that cat toy from under the couch.


Overall, having a pet or even just being able to see an animal during the school day helps relieve stress because it keeps students in the now instead of focussing on the later.


To see bringing animals into school in action check out this link!