Canine Comfort: CHS students, staff should recognize immense benefits of dog companionship therapy

Misha Rekhter

My life changed forever when my furry friend, Bernie, entered my life. His presence completely altered the entire dynamic of my household. From neverending playtime to countless walks and games 

of fetch, Bernie gives and needs constant love and attention. With National Dog Day approaching rapidly on Aug. 26, I realize Bernie is more than a dog: he is my best friend. This constant interaction and intimate companionship is not for everyone, but for me, it’s what makes dogs better than cats.

A pet dog can also have a plethora of positive impacts on its owner. According to helpguide.org, caring for a dog helps people cope with depression, anxiety and stress. Furthermore, dog ownership leads to positive lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, companionship and socialization. Dogs, unlike other pets, force people to be active and spend time outside. While this may seem inconsequential, outdoor activity, particularly exposure to sunlight, causes elevated Vitamin D levels and mood.

Interestingly, dogs seem to have a profound impact on the mental health problems which Carmel’s “Culture of Care” program seems to be targeting. Thus, an increase in dog companionship and therapy would help people combat many mental and physical health problems. Overall, any pet would serve as a welcome addition to the life of a student at this school, but canines have the capacity to completely change lives.

Read Managing Editor Emily Dexter’s opposing column here: hilite.org/cats

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Misha Rekhter at [email protected]

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