6 universities that use dogs to relieve student stress

Stories of dog therapy adoption showed up on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border in 2012, and universities in both countries are warming up letting the dogs out to help students unwind.

According to the reports, librarians and other faculty have seen noticeable results, too. Check out these six examples from some of North America's most prominent higher ed institutions:

Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

The University of Buffalo crammed a dozen therapy dogs into its libraries to help balance out the stress from test cramming, the Associated Press reports. The dogs were expected to stay through Friday, backed by confidence in research that shows pets can help take the edge off during anxious times.

Where: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Amber Lannon, a McGill librarian, told CTV that the school is always looking for new ways to make finals-time library visits more pleasant, and she said hundreds of students turned out to take advantage of some dog therapy, which was made possible by Therapeutic Paws of Canada (TPC).

Where: Atlanta, Ga.

Emory also turned to puppy therapy, the Associated Press reported last spring. The canine's had a positive impact, too, a librarian said, helping students to smile more and clear their heads. According to the story, some libraries, such as those at Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School are even allowing students to check out pets just like books.

Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto's law school offered to let students bring their own dogs in for finals week, the Toronto Star reported (and if the photos are accurate, the dogs appeared to have as much fun with it as the students did). Yoga sessions and foot massages were also available, though one defense lawyer, Edward Sapiano, is quoted in the story saying the practices "do not bode well for the field of law.” Sapiano worries that students won't be able to adapt to pressure after graduation as a result.

Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dalhousie University opened up a puppy room with TPC's help. The Toronto Star reported that the school arranged to have dogs brought in for several hours over the course of three days ahead of student exams. For those who were unable to attend, free rides to the local SPCA were offered so that students could go play with dogs or cats if they so chose.

Where: Kent, Ohio

Kent State set up a "Stress-Free Zone" this week, bringing back pet therapy dogs for its finals week, according to a posting on the school's website. The event included popcorn, drinks and Wii games, and the library where it was being held expected to see lots of faculty members come to kick back as well.


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Filed Under: Higher Ed