New Study Says Therapy Dogs Can Help Make The College Transition Easier For Students

Going to college is scary and tough. It’s full of transitions and uncertainty, and for students studying in another state or even abroad, being away from the comfort and safety of home can become extremely overwhelming.

There are a lot of ways students can try to ease into college life, and one fun way is through the help of therapy dogs!

That’s right, a new study conducted at the University of British Columbia found that students who visit drop-in therapy sessions with dogs end up feeling less stressed and anxious, according to People magazine.

According to the article, therapy sessions offered at various college campuses across the US are becoming more common. Some offer drop-in sessions where students can go for help and support when they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

Some sessions decided to incorporate the use of dog therapy and allow students to interact and play with the furry companions. Students who participated said they felt more happy, less anxious, and overall a feeling of calmness after interacting with the therapy dog.

The study included 246 students where were allowed to cuddle and play with seven to 12 therapy dogs at various sessions. The students answered questions about their emotions before, immediately after, and a day after their therapy session.

The majority said they all felt immediately happier with less stress, but in the long term feelings of anxiety did come back. As a result researchers suggest that colleges that do provide therapy session with dogs continue to do so, and colleges who do not should consider starting a program.

And according to Time magazine, these therapy sessions are in extreme demand. A record number of college students are expressing they are in need of help for dealing with anxiety and depression. As of 2017, 40 percent of college students claimed they felt depressed and 61 percent said they felt anxiety and overwhelmed.

The pressure some kids put on themselves to be the best college student in the school can in turn cause severe depression and exhaustion, not to mention some kids end up abusing medication like Ritalin to help them stay awake to study.

Helping to remove the pressure and anxiety of college, especially for those who are just starting their freshman year, will hopefully allow kids to have an easier and more enjoyable experience.

Overall, therapy sessions that are easily accessible to all students are extremely beneficial. Add cute pups to the mix and it only gets better.