College Student’s Saviors

When I think about Princess and Angel, I instantly imagine my dogs jumping erratically at the sight of my family.  Dogs cause humans to feel accepted and appreciated through their love and inclusivity.  Dogs not only brighten sick children’s days but also relieve the stress of college students.  Through dog therapy on college campuses, students feel that a weight was lifted from their shoulders.

According to an article, Universities in the United States and Canada include therapy dogs in their programs to help reduce the levels of cortisol which help students to reduce their anxiety and depression.  Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia us trying to improve the mental health of its students through the addition of a “Puppy Room.”  Many other Universities are noticing the positive effort of incorporating dogs into these students’ lives.  McGill University in Quebec brought dogs from the Therapeutic Paws of Canada to help students during their exam weeks.  Also, Kent State University created a pet therapy program, called Dogs on Campus, to help students deal with stress and homesickness.

Audrey Giles, a professor from the University of Ottawa Human Kinetics, noticed that petting dogs lowers blood pressure and anxiety.  Spending time with dogs can act as a distraction to a busy college student’s life.  Making time to relax throughout the day is crucial for an individual’s mental health and success in school.  In addition, students who have pets at home can spend time with dogs to remind them of their memories with their dogs.  Petting other dogs will increase these students’ happiness because they can focus on the adorable dog in front of them, instead of worrying about their own dog.

According to another source, scientists at Ohio State University discovered that pets provide support and stress relief for college students who live with their pets.  At Eckerd college in St. Petersburg, Florida, researchers discovered that pet causes students to become more responsible.  They are more likely to attend classes because they know that they have certain obligations toward their pets.  Also, many colleges include dorms for students to have pets such as UCLA, MIT, and Vassar College because of the positivity from the incorporation of dogs into college student’s chaotic lives.

In an article from USA Today, research at the University of California, San Francisco, indicates that the beneficial effects of incorporating animals are that students have clearer minds, and they do not feel obligated to think about school and their studies.  Dogs are present in counseling centers for students to visit, if they are having difficulty with school or personal issues.  Schools like Emory work with organizations that train dogs, while students can experience stress relief.  Also, research portrays that dealing with pets increases the endorphins in an individual’s body.

Dog therapy is the solution to the problem of individual’s stress, depression, and anxiety.  Dogs have the power of healing college students’ and sick children from negative aspects of their lives.  Without the addition of dog therapy, students would be less likely to admit that they are struggling with their classes or anxiety.


Dog Therapy

Dogs not only bring happiness to our everyday lives but also improve the lives of sick children.  With their innate desire to comfort others, dogs have the privilege of spending time with children to brighten their day.  Therapy dogs provide beneficial services to children who have experienced trauma to distract them from their reality.

According to Stephanie Stahl in her article “Popular Pet Therapy Program At CHOP Is Expanding” Through the Gerald Shreiber Pet Therapy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, patients are given a companion and friend to act as a source of comfort during their treatments.  Dogs can help children endure obstacles and medical setbacks more easily because they radiate positive and uplifting energy.  By making the children smile and laugh, these dogs increase their chance of overcoming their hardships.  They provide them with a sense of hope.  Dogs distract the children from the severity of their illnesses, and help children become healthier in a more quickly fashion.  Through the love and support from the therapy dogs, children become more positive, which can increase their chance of getting better.  Most of the time, the children forget that they are in a hospital and feel like a normal child.  Volunteers donate their time and energy because of effect of this special experience.  These dogs have to be comfortable with people and be trained to work with ill children.  Since the dogs are in the presence of sick children with weak immune systems, they must ensure that they will not spread their germs.  The patients use antibacterial wipes before and after every session as a safety precaution.

According to the article Pet Therapy Program to Triple in Size in CHOP family news Because of the success of CHOP’s Pet Therapy Program, it is expanding so that many children gain the special and unique benefits of visits from these dogs.  The goal of the Gerald B. Schreiber Therapy Program is to increase the number of dogs from 24 to 80 dogs.  In addition, the hope of this program is that there will be to increase the amount of visits to one unit from one to two visits every week.  Increasing the number of units that the Hospital enables pet therapy dogs to remain will increase the happiness and hope of more patients.  In addition, CHOP has the dream of offering pet therapy at various CHOP Care Networks locations.  Enhancing awareness of this program and instigating more opportunities will lift the spirits of so many more children.

According to Stephanie Stahl’s article “Health: Local Hospital Expands Pet Therapy Program” The dogs calm and relax the children, so sometimes they forget about their diseases.  Through initiating dogs into the environment of these children, they decrease their anxiety about their treatments and experience the normal life of a child at least for a short amount of time.  Through interacting with dogs, these children gain unconditional love and feel accepted despite the abnormalities of their lives.  Dogs help reduce their stress so that they can focus on maintaining optimistic attitudes to become healthier.