Dog owners know that after a stressful day at work, nothing beats coming home to a wagging tail and a bunch of lovable “kisses” from their favorite pooch! As a result, it really comes as no surprise that a recent study done at the University of British Columbia found that therapy dogs can reduce the level of stress and enhance the feeling of well-being for college students during semester ending final exams.
“Therapy dog sessions are becoming more popular on university campuses,” said Emma Ward-Griffin, lead study author and UBC Department of Psychology research assistant. The study’s finding suggest that therapy dogs “have a measurable, positive effect on the well-being of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity,” Ward-Griffin said.
The study, published in the journal of “Stress and Health,” was conducted on 246 students who were interviewed before and after they have sessions with 12 therapy dogs. The students had free access to the dogs during the session. The effects were still in effect 10 hours after the sessions. However, since these effects don’t last forever, university’s are encouraged to schedule them during high stress periods like final exams. Sounds like a good reason for anybody in a highly stressful job to get a dog, right?