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The Benefits of Having a Dog While a Student

We know what you're thinking:


Another article about dogs being great stress relievers? Another story about emotional support pups bring to college students with anxiety and depression?



dog wearing glasses with book

It's a story about responsibility, confidence, and better social skills. It's about improved academic performance and time management. It's about unconditional love. And the balance you get once you invite a dog into your college life.


So, let's get down to it.


What benefits, besides already-known positive emotions and lower academic stress, do you get from having a dog as a student?


Academic Confidence and Improved Learning

Studies show that students who have pets or often interact with them enhance cognitive skills (long-term memory, attention, logic & reasoning, and processing speed). Their focus improves, their readiness to learn and remember new information increases, and they become more engaged in the study process.


Experts from confirm:


Students who come to them for help with academic papers and mention their dogs in conversations with writers are more curious and committed to the process. They share ideas, discuss arguments, offer suggestions on paper improvement, and are ready to revise assignments for better performance.




Research by Indiana University found that college students who could bring their dogs to the classroom during a course performed better than their peers without dogs.


The more exceptional the academic performance, the better self-esteem and academic confidence. Students eliminate the fear of failure, become more proactive in classrooms, and are better able to cope with the pressure to succeed imposed by their families, educational institutions, and society.


Given that dog-assisted therapy works well, it may soon become a mainstream element in schools worldwide:


Puppies in academic settings can support learning and boost students' performance.



When students decide to adopt a dog, they should understand that they get much more than just a pet to cuddle and play with when they're in the mood for it.

A dog being offered a carrot

A dog is a new member of your family and a hu-u-uge responsibility!


With a dog in the house, students transit from carefree teenage years into adulthood faster. They become more independent and learn to accept new duties without parents around.


Interacting with a dog teaches patience and educates students about responsible pet ownership. Dogs are like babies, requiring food, care, and love. Regular exercise, grooming, and veterinary care are jobs for responsible people. The ability to care for a dog is a significant accomplishment.


Dogs also need a lot of time and energy, so it's your chance to polish your time management skills and (finally) know how to reach a work-life balance.


Stellar Time Management Skills

When it comes to time management skills for students, many entail the ability to set academic goals, craft study schedules, and masterfully compose to-do lists to meet all deadlines.


But that's not all!


Time management is also about self-awareness, organization, prioritization, and decision-making. It's about your ability to focus, plan, communicate, and manage stress from all those multiple tasks, duties, and responsibilities that adult life brings.


Having a dog as a student will encourage you to revise your academic schedule, set priorities, and consider delegating some activities to peers or outsourced specialists. Dogs change your sense of purpose, teach you to prioritize, and help you realize there's more in life than high grades for all academic assignments, tests, and exams.


Your furry four-legged friend will make you more curious and creative. A dog may inspire you to start a new project, revise your lifestyle, and be mindful of your time- and energy resources.


Improved Health

We already know about the benefits a dog brings to a student's mental health: stress relief, alleviated depression, reduced anxiety, positive emotional boost, you name it.




What about physical health? Dogs can help you improve it, too.


●      Regular physical activity associated with dog ownership (feeding, grooming, walking with them outside) improves blood pressure, reduces joint stiffness, and induces muscle contraction.

●      Regular exercise with a dog (hiking, running, training, playing with toys) can help reduce blood sugar and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

●      A daily 30-minute walk with a dog reduces the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and Type 2 diabetes. More than that, it can help you achieve deeper sleep.

●      People who have dogs tend to have better levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

●      Dogs promote stronger immunity, reducing the risk of developing allergies.


Enhanced Social Interaction

Dogs are masters of facilitating social interactions, and they serve as natural conversation starters!


Having a dog on campus can encourage students, especially those feeling isolated or lonely, to engage with one another and strike up a conversation.


Dogs boost communication and social interactions outside of campus, too. Pet owners tend to talk with other pet owners, right? They have common topics to discuss during small talks when walking with their dogs, and they don't mind socializing with other people while their pets play.


Studies show dogs can also help create human-to-human friendships and social support, both critical for long-term health. Social interactions with other pet owners also make you more open-minded, positive, and empathic.


Ready to become a dog parent while in college?


Weigh the pros and cons, evaluate your resources, and be mindful: You don't buy or take a thing; you adopt a living creature who needs your love and care. Your life will change with a dog, but it will change for the better.



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