College students tap into canine health benefits for final exams

It’s long been known that dogs can provide an enormous boost to the human mind and spirit. Just seeing a puppy frolicking with a toy or having one cuddle up with you on the couch can be like getting a shot of pure joy and happiness straight to the heart. There are, in fact, a large number of service and therapy dogs who–alongside those that perform heroic search-and-rescue acts–also are brought in to counseling centers, retirement homes, hospitals, and more to provide an extra level of attention and care for those within.

Now, colleges and universities are getting in on the “puppy therapy” act. Especially during finals week.

From campuses such as Ohio’s Kent State University and Minnesota’s Macalester College to places such as Harvard and Yale, puppy programs have become increasingly popular with students, who desperately need relief from the stress exams and final projects place on them. Some dogs even have full-time positions visiting various campuses, while other dogs can actually be “checked out” in campus libraries during study periods. Pet-friendly dorm buildings are also slowly being made available to those students wanting to bring their favorite pup from home.

One of the best things about these sort of initiatives is that it not only provides the students with immediate health benefits, but it also helps support foster and adoption agencies who provide the puppies in questions. Indiana University sponsored a “Rent-a-Puppy” day, where students could donate $5 to spend time with one of 20 puppies from a local shelter–and then could adopt one if they forged a bond.

Here’s hoping these programs will continue to grow!

Could you use a puppy break? Do you and your dogs cuddle when a day gets too stressful?

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