Pets vs. Stress

By Idelfonsa Alvarez-Solis
Pulse Staff Reporter

Former Palo Alto College student, Karina Alvarez with her cat, Alaska. Photo by Idelfonsa Alvarez-Solis.

Going to college is difficult at times, but when students start to feel like everything is going downhill, their four-legged friends are there to support them.

According to the American Institute of Stress, statistics show that eight in 10 college students say they experience stress in their daily lives. Students within the Alamo Colleges say that their pets have been a stress reliever while they attend college.

Citlaly Ibarra, a Pre-Nursing major and a San Antonio College student who is currently taking a class at Palo Alto College, owns three dogs.

 “I love each one for different things. Princess, a poodle mix, is great to watch movies with when I’m sad. Bella, a border collie, is great to have around when I’m stressing over homework late at night. And Murph, a pure yellow lab, is great to play with when I want to play and get distracted,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra also mentioned that she is working full-time and is struggling with stress, which is why she is grateful for her dogs to be by her side.

It is very common for students to become stressed during their college years, which is why students turn to their pets for support.

Karina Alvarez, a former PAC student, said her cat, Alaska, is her support animal, and her life would definitely be different without her as Alaska has a one-of-a-kind personality.

Although dogs and cats are common pets for students, rabbits also make a good stress-reducer pets.

Jamila Guajardo, a Pre-Nursing major and a San Antonio College student, owns rabbits.

“My rabbits are my stress-reducers. Watching them just play and being so cute puts me in a much better mood when school, work and social life becomes too much to handle,” Gua said.

Atalie De La Paz, a sophomore Psychology major at PAC, owns a young bearded dragon named Charmander.

“Charmander may be small, but his size does not matter because he snuggles up to me on my neck when I’m doing schoolwork, and I feel all the heavy weight off my back, even though his tiny claws feels like pinches,” De La Paz said.

According to an article by Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences staff, “Pets can help decrease loneliness, relieve stress and anxiety, and provide opportunities for exercise, play and recreation.”

If you are struggling with stress throughout college and don’t own a pet of any kind, then adopting one might be the right choice for you.

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