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

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read