The exam period is nearly over for most students and although hours of revision may be the key ingredient for getting a good grade, puppies have the right to claim some of the credit too!
In the past few years Universities have been introducing ‘puppy rooms’ on campus around exam time. Research shows interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol — or stress hormone — in people and increases endorphins, known as the happiness hormone.
In America taking it one step further, at Harvard and Yale, resident therapy dogs can be borrowed from the library just like a book. While Harvard’s resident shih tzu Cooper, holds regular office hours. Cooper’s owner got permission to bring him to campus after she saw Yale had a therapy dog on campus named Monty.
Here are a list of ways dogs can relieve stress
1. Pets Can Improve Your Mood:
For those of us who have pets it is hard to deny the mood boosting affect they have in our lives. Research supports this with a recent study finding men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.
2. Pets Control Blood Pressure Better Than Drugs
While drugs can generally reduce blood pressure, they aren’t as effective on controlling spikes in blood pressure due to stress and tension. However, in a study on pets and blood pressure, a group of New York stockbrokers who got dogs were found to have lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who didn’t.
3. Pets Encourage You To Get Out And Exercise
Whether we walk our dogs because they need it, or are more likely to enjoy a walk when we have companionship, dog owners do spend more time walking than non-pet owners. Because exercise is good for stress management and overall health, owning a dog can be credited with increasing these benefits.
4. Pets Can Help With Social Support
Having a dog with us in public can make us more approachable and give people a reason to stop and talk. Increasing the number of people we meet gives us the opportunity to increase our network of friends, which also has great stress management benefits.
5. Pets Stave Off Loneliness
Pets can offer love and companionship, keep secrets and are excellent cuddlers. They are potentially the best antidote for loneliness. In one nursing home residents reported less loneliness when visited by dogs than when they spent time with other people! All these benefits can reduce the amount of stress people experience in response to feelings of social isolation.
There is like with everything points to consider, animal rights’ activists have challenged the concept of a petting zoo. Stirling University decided against a petting zoo after being contacted with concerns about the welfare of animals. Animal rights’ campaigners, Peta, welcomed the decision by Stirling students, saying it would spare animals the “stress of travel, confinement and handling”.
As an alternative option they recommended bouncy castles or back massages. However, it is necessary to point out other stress relieving methods are used in Universities, sales in bubble wrap go up around exam time, for students to pop away their exam anxiety.
The University of Leicester students’ union organise “bubble wrap stations” where students relax by popping the packaging material.
Whether placing dogs in Universities is the best option or not, at Gudog we definitely believe dogs can be great stress relievers for the home!
If you want to become a dog sitter in the UK apply now and become part of the Gudog pack!