Questions for ‘Pets and other animals can boost health and well-being’

A brunette teen girl in a gray shirt and jeans kneels on the ground to hug a fluffy grey dog

Dogs and other kinds of pets can provide us with a variety of benefits.

Carol Yepes / Moment / Getty Images Plus

To accompany ‘Pets and other animals can boost health and well-being


Before Reading:

  1. Do you or your friends have a pet that you enjoy being around? How do you interact with these animals?
  2. How does it make you feel to be around a pet or other non-threatening animals?

During Reading:

  1. What does Kerri Rodriguez say is one of the biggest benefits of having a pet?
  2. Do non-snuggly pets like turtles also provide mood boosts?
  3. How did researchers measure stress levels in college students who interacted with dogs and cats? Which group of college students in the experiment showed the lowest stress levels?
  4. How can reading aloud to a dog help a child?
  5. Describe some other situations where interacting with animals can help lower someone’s stress.
  6. Can a service dog paired with an autistic child help the rest of the family too? Explain.
  7. Based on the story, what health benefits can come from growing up with pets in the home? Give examples.
  8. What system in the body is at the root of these medical benefits?
  9. According to Mikael Knip, why might dogs provide greater immune benefits than cats?
  10. Can a teen or adult get these same immune system benefits as a child from living with pets?

After Reading:

  1. Has reading this story changed your feelings about pets and other animals? If so how? If not, why not?
  2. Which of the research findings surprised you most? Explain.


After Reading:

  1. How can you derive some benefits of being around animals even if you don’t have a pet?
  2. What can you do to show respect to a pet or other animal when you interact with it?