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Are therapy dogs effective in helping reduce stress in students?

In the world today, there seems to be an abundance of issues relating to mental health. One of the biggest of those issues is the presence of stress. Stress is often shrugged off as a common occurrence and treated as though it’s nothing. In fact, stress can be rather dangerous.

Today we are going to take a look at the effectiveness of therapy dogs on stress and how they could help those who need it most. 

Today’s students are under enormous amounts of pressure to succeed, and this is creating stronger and more intense situations for them.

What Is A Therapy Dog?

The first thing that must be noted here is that a therapy dog is not a service dog. A service dog is a working animal that has its sole focus on assisting its owner. Service dogs are specially trained to provide much-needed support for their owners.

Therapy dogs, however, are trained to react. A therapy dog will respond to a person and the environment under the direction of the owner. Therapy dogs are also a great addition when it comes to animal-assisted therapy. This kind of therapy assists in the emotional and social functioning of a person.

The Human-Animal Bond

The human-animal bond is something that stretches back through the ages and has recently been at the forefront of some spectacular studies.

Research has clearly shown that therapy dogs can dramatically reduce stress and triggers oxytocin. The remarkable thing is, dogs actually mirror this when interacting with humans and also release oxytocin. 

Humans have always had a soft spot for dogs; the human-animal bond is generally strangest between humans and dogs. We often treat our dogs as we would a sibling or child, and there is no expense spared on their comfort or their diet. 

Benefits Of Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs have so many benefits, and they can help in a lot of situations, such as:

  • Help develop social skills.
  • Help with empathy and interpersonal skills.
  • Can be soothing and relaxing.
  • Aid with the picking up of social cues.

In recent times, therapy dogs have been introduced to schools and universities to help dramatically reduce stress among the students. 

It has been shown that the presence of therapy dogs in learning environments has done some remarkable things. Therapy dogs have been reducing learning anxiety, reducing stress levels exponentially and also improve motivation.

Conclusion

There has been much in the way of research when it comes to therapy dogs, and the simple answer to our question is, yes. Therapy dogs are effective in reducing stress in students.

The introduction of therapy dogs to universities has shown, immediately after a drop-in session with a therapy dog students anxiety and stress levels have dissipated by huge amounts.

It is safe to say that dogs will forever be the best friend of human, and they will always have benefits beyond our understanding.

 

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