Can Dogs Help de-stress College Students?

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Can dogs help college students de-stress during exam time?  If you've been a college student like myself, returned to school later in life, can you imagine that kind of stress? It is different than just hopping from high school into college.  Many older students return to school after their kids are in one or older with more time on their side to not be so tied up with kids activities.  Perhaps if I had a dog to help me de-stress on the campus it could have been a calmer experience as I was getting my degree.

The  universities — the programs

Let's take a trip to some of these colleges using dogs.  Yale Law School?  Did you ever think the day would come that you can check out a certified library therapy dog who had 4 paws (but what about if one had 3 would be my next thought) and had a calm disposition? 

The program at Yale Law School was recently under a three-day pilot program.  It will be further evaluated to see if it would be most useful to offer at various times of the year instead of just one time.  Isn't this a caring, creative and helpful to help students ease their stress and help the dog feel loved?

T  ufts, Boston College, New York University, University of Connecting and Connecticut College are a few more colleges using dogs to help ease the stress of finals. At Western Kentucky University dogs are used for after traumatic situation like bad car accidents or suicide.  The University of Pennsylvania's program, “Canine Chillout,” helps student cope with their finals. Dogs are on "loan" by students, faculty and staff of the Vet School.  In southern California, a program called  BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids) during finals week can be found visiting UC Irvine and Chapman University during finals week.

Staff and professors at Connecticut College in New London bring into the student residence halls their dogs (regardless of its age).

At the University of Connecticut, Paws to Relax is a program that allows students to pet and hug the dog.  Imagine how wonderful the dog must feel. For the student it has a calming effect creating more happiness.  Do you think this is a great way to also serve the dogs touching needs?


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Molly, dog, confused on whether she is the driver or passenger.

Where else are dogs helping relieve stress? 

As a volunteer at Good Samaritan Medical Center, in Lafayette, CO, pet therapy has  been available to patients for years.  Now dogs are finding their way into colleges.

Some dogs to some students can act as a stress buster or help them with separation from their own dog.

Reflecting my college days…

I know that when I was in college none of my dogs acted like a tranquilizer to me.  I loved each of them but to say they were like a natural sedative or having a calming effect it never felt that way.  It's obvious universities are seeing great results having dogs on campus comforting students during their exams.


Another stress buster…

How about planting on campus a natural dog garden?  You can grow carrots that dogs love eating and cleaning their teeth. For you why not grow some vegetables to enjoy with the dog such as beets, lettuce and carrots?

The therapy dogs, as they are called, come to the students very calm. However if you own a dog and see him anxious how about looking at natural dog herbal remedies? I'm not a proponent of drugs. 

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Molly, on guard and listening carefully

Some health benefits:

-regulate breathing

-improve mindset

-lowers blood pressure

So do you think other colleges should be looking into these types of programs or continuing to evaluate other ways to help a student cope during their very stress times of finals?

Please share us with students and their families.  I wonder if there are programs in place for elementary age, middle and high school students now.

We would love your comments below. 

Share us with others.

Follow us on Twitter (carolgiambri) and Facebook (carol giambri).  

Wags from Molly and mom, Carol

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Carol Giambri is a back-to-basics person, author, leader, and holistically oriented. Adopting dogs for over 40 years she has found each to be precious and never returned one. Carol is a health nut and converted her husband and dog to eat this way. She chooses to be positive and upbeat refusing to accept the words “impossible" or "can't.” Her dog’s Lupus recovery is a great example of not quitting even when she got gloom reports from three vet clinics.  As a result of her life experiences she is passionate about eating healthy, hunting for edible weeds, and teaching others to live a life fullfiled with dogs, eating well, and encouraging others who need an uplift through her voice. She leads a healthy eating group in her local community for years and called upon when health speakers travel to her area to promote them. Her programs and writings show people how living a simple healthy lifestyle with a dog is fun, easy and delicious without using chemicals. If you think this lifestyle is just about dogs living healthier she says it's also for people whether a dog owner or not.  Carol's vegan days began when her husband had a seizure over 35 years ago, believed he would be healed and was in six weeks. Are you ready for Carol to encourage you and your dog along your journey?


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Denny May 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Regardless of what is happening, the mere sight of my 4 legged babies brings a smile! Great Job Carol!

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 7, 2011 at 12:47 am

Denny, Totally right. Our 4 legged babies bring us smiles. Just went to a local and yet online pet store that opened up their 2nd store 5 minutes away. Already met 2 friendly dog lovers who even talked about loving seaweed like me. Now talk about strange, but true. Thanks for your sweet comment. Thank you Denny for stopping by.

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 7, 2011 at 2:36 am

Elvie, thanks for sharing about Ken. Glad Ken is still standing tall and keeping the faith. Today client called hubby and now scheduled for DOUBLE bypass. Yikes. He has dog too. One hospital I mentioned, as volunteer has pet therapy program local. Amazing how some times are changing. Dogs in schools, in hospitals, where next?

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 7, 2011 at 4:47 am

Hi Olga, Thanks for your comment. Yes, Elvie and Denny are my sisters. It’s a trio. I accidentally got a dog when we were robbed in New York City and have had one since. Olga, I was clueless about dogs, but learned over the years. Always however loved them from day one. Thanks for compliment. Yes, come hang with us.

Olga Hermans May 7, 2011 at 4:45 am

Carol, I don’t know anybody that loves his/her dog as much as you do; maybe Elvie and Denny do..but I don’t have that many doglovers around me… I have to hang out with you a little, that might help…:)

Solvita May 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Great post Carol and lovely pictures – I think I love your dog! :)

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Solvita, My dog is darling and she would love you. She is a very happy, friendly one. Come on over! Thanks for compliment. Molly’s pictures are always current.

AJ May 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I love dogs!


Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm

AJ, me too a dog lover massively! Each one, regardless of age, is ideal.

Beau Henderson May 10, 2011 at 3:11 am

This is one of the coolest blogs I have ever read! What an innovative and effective program. Win-win!

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 10, 2011 at 3:16 am

Beau, Thank you for your comment. I found it amazing when I started to write this blog. I had a hard time composing myself to not add more. It surely is a win win for both. I’m so excited to share it and perhaps other readers will see this concept spread “wings” on their campus. Maybe the love for adopting more dogs out to “great” homes will be a trickling effect.

Robert Seth May 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Carol, nice article. I didn’t realize dogs were being used in so many places. We have 4 dogs and I have to say they don’t always relieve the stress. They are wonderful creatures, but sometime cause more stress in the short run.

Carol Rosenberg Giambri May 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Robert for sharing your comments. Never had dogs that created stress; however, all things are possible. May look at my pet travel article as I mentioned one product there. Want to get name right so that’s reason to invite you there.

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