Ode to Pets

Braden Danise, Staff Writer

Of all the great things in life, few are as reliable as our pets. Dependable, protective, and always excited to welcome us home, pets really offer one of the greatest relationships a person can have in life.

But what is it about pets that makes them as great as they are? First of all, they are fun to play with, whether it be dogs and cats, or less common pets like snakes and rabbits. It’s also no secret that taking care of a pet can be one of the earliest lessons of responsibility that a child learns. More surprising, however, are the mental and physical health benefits that can come by owning a pet.

According to a Time Magazine study, there are several more surprising advantages of owning a pet. They studied people who owned a variety of animals, such as dogs, horses, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and even crickets. Their study found that “People who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate and heart disease risk than those who don’t.” Furthermore, “scientists are now digging up evidence that animals can also help improve mental health.” The main reasons for this is that pets help people stay more active, and can also help you relax after a stressful day. So while pets may cost time and money to take care of, the benefits definitely outweigh those costs.

Bingham students greatly value their pets as well. In a survey of 225 Bingham students, 62 of them said that their pets were the most important thing they have in their lives. The only thing valued higher than pets in the survey was family, which accounted for 119 of the responses. More students valued pets over their friends, and even more than their phones.

Clearly, pets are great. They can be the bright part of a dark day, be part of your family, and they can even help you be more physically and mentally healthy. Most importantly, pets are always there. In a stressful world, it’s a reassurance to have a welcoming friend waiting at home.