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Dogs have become the stress ball of remote learning


Having a dog is one of the many distractions teenagers have during remote learning. Does that mean that teenagers should lock their dogs out of the room in order to focus better? In my opinion, no. As someone who has done remote learning with a dog and without a dog, I believe that having my dog in the room has only had positive effects when it comes to my experience with online learning. 

   It is scientifically proven that dogs “can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health,” according to HelpGuide. School is one of the top causes for stress and anxiety in teenagers; therefore, having something that helps reduce these things is very beneficial. According to Entrepreneur, stress causes a decrease in motivation, meaning students that are stressed out have less motivation to do school work. This shows that students need ways to reduce stress such as having their dogs around.

   I, for one, have benefited a lot from having my dog next to me during remote learning. Remote learning is one of the most stressful experiences of my life, so being able to pet my dog helps me calm down for a second and regather my thoughts so I’m not as stressed. I also know what it’s like to do remote learning without my dog and I found it really hard to stay motivated and caught up in classes. The stress that I avoid by having a dog around has increased my mental health a lot which is something many people have been struggling with during remote learning. This is why I think it is important and helpful to have a dog or animal around while doing remote learning.

   Some people will argue that having dogs around during remote learning is a distraction and it definitely can be. However, there are ways to avoid being distracted. One way is to have your dog just lay down next to you or by your feet, preferably in reach, though. The reason behind keeping your dog in reach is so that you can pet your dog which is proven to relieve stress. This works with other pets as well such as cats, hamsters, and anything else that can be pet. If you do have your dog around and they aren’t laying down, try to keep them out of your camera because when they are in the camera it is not only a distraction for you, but for other people in the class. Overall, it’s best to be mature about having your dog around and keeping them calm, so that they aren’t being distracting.

   According to NewsinHealth, “Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure.” Stress is a known cause for decreased mental health and even possible health conditions and that is why it is so important for people to actively work on decreasing their stress levels according to CAMH. If that means letting your pet into the room while you remotely learn, then do it. If it means squeezing a stress ball, then do it. Just make sure to take some time to work on lowering your stress levels.

Carlynn Claypool, Community Chair

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Dogs have become the stress ball of remote learning