pets are the best medicine

Christa Hester
April 11, 2016

There’s nothing quite like an adorable ball of fur to get you past hump day. And thanks to Uber Hawaii and the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), my coworkers and I had the best Wednesday in the history of Wednesdays.

Teller and Houdini play with their favorite duck toy. On March 23, Uber partnered with SPCA to bring #Uberpuppies to their customers for 15 minute playdates. After pressing the “request puppies” button on the Uber app for 30 minutes straight, we met mastiff mixes Teller and Houdini (pictured on the left) at Sheridan Community Park.

We oohed and aahed as the puppies became comfortable and slowly revealed their personalities. Normally quiet coworkers came out of their shells and usually serious peers laughed – the stress of the day melted away.

As we walked back to work, you could feel the difference in the air. We were smiling, joking, and talking with a new sense of camaraderie. The change we felt was no coincidence. As many pet owners already know, animals are good medicine. 

                                                            Here are just a few of the ways a pet can improve your well-being:

  • An immune boost. Children who have a pet in the home tend to develop stronger immune systems and are less likely to be allergic to animals.
  • Heart health. Studies have found that pet owners have decreased blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which lower your risk of heart attack. If you’re recovering from a heart attack, having a pet around can help you recover faster.
  • A reason to exercise. Research by the National Institute of Health found that dog owners who walked their dogs regularly were less likely to be obese than those who weren’t dog owners.
  • Emotional health. The unconditional love of a pet gives owners companionship and a sense of purpose, which helps your mood and fends off loneliness.

Are you thinking of becoming a pet owner? It’s a big responsibility, but it has great rewards. Teller, Houdini, and many other animals are available for adoption at the SPCA. Learn more at

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