Study: Therapy Dogs Pawsitively Affect Students' Moods

March 13, 2018

College students having a “ruff” time can get some relief from canine friends, a new study has found.

The report from the University of British Columbia, published in the journal Stress and Health, shows that exposure to therapy dogs helps boost students' well-being.

Researchers interviewed 246 students before and after cuddle and petting sessions with therapy dogs.

"The results were remarkable," Stanley Coren, co-author and professor emeritus of psychology at UBC, said in a statement. "We found that, even 10 hours later, students still reported slightly less negative emotion, feeling more supported, and feeling less stressed, compared to students who did not take part in the therapy dog session."

Students felt significantly less stressed and more energized after interacting with the dogs, though the happy feelings weren’t necessarily lasting, the study found.

Previous research indicates that female students benefit more from therapy dogs than men, though that was not the case with this study.

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