VIDEO: Therapy dogs makes students happier, study finds

UBC researchers say students preparing for finals benefit from sessions

Does your stress level come down when you see a cute puppy?

A study from UBC released Monday suggests one-on-one time with a dog really does make students less stressed.

Therapy dogs for students cramming for final exams have become more and more popular on university campuses lately, but up until now, the effects haven’t been formally evaluated.

“Therapy dog sessions have a measurable, positive effect on the wellbeing of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity,” said assistant psychology researcher Emma Ward-Griffin.

The team surveyed 246 students before and after they attended a drop-in therapy dog session where they pet, cuddled and chatted with up to a dozen dogs.

The participants reported feeling more relaxed, more happy, energetic and satisfied with life right after spending time with the dogs, compared to a control group who did not play with the animals.

While the feelings of satisfaction didn’t last, some positive effects did.

“We found that, even 10 hours later, students still reported slightly less negative emotion, feeling more supported, and feeling less stressed,” said study co-author and professor emeritus of psychology Stanley Coren.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read