Puppies: Adorable & Effective Stress Relievers
One of the most common complaints among students about campus life is the
constant longing for a cuddle session with their pet at home. During high school, you
could come home after a long day and your pet would seem to instantly make your
stresses just melt away.
With the high-stress environment of a college campus, it would seem logical for
schools to invest in “puppy therapy,” especially during midterm and final periods.
Academic pressures run highest at these times, and these animals offer a quick and
effective escape from the never ending buildup of homework, presentations, and
A study mentioned in USA Today stated that interacting with animals instantly
lowers the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your brain. It also releases the
“happy hormone” oxytocin, thus relieving stress and refreshing your mood almost
In the last few years, many institutions all across the country have brought stress-
relieving animals onto their campuses to help students cope with the stress of
school. Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School both have puppy rental
programs, where students can borrow trained therapy dogs for a certain amount of
time at no cost to the student.
Other campuses, such as the University of Rhode Island and the University of
California, have similar programs in which the schools rent trained animals from
local shelters and let students play with them on the campus green for free.
Indiana University recently enacted their “Rent-a-Puppy” program in which the
school partnered with a local animal shelter and allowed students to pay $5 to rent a
puppy for a day. If the students fell in love with the dog, as many did, they could then
officially adopt the puppy from the local shelter. This benefited everyone involved
with the program.
These puppy therapy sessions are extremely effective, and Marist students would be
elated if they were integrated into our school.
“I would be so thrilled, especially since a lot of people have pets at home they really
miss towards the end of the semester. It would be so great to get my mind off of
finals for a day or two,” said sophomore Genevieve Hauck.
Finals can be a stressful time, and Marist would greatly benefit from bringing
therapy animals to campus. If not, just keep in mind that after finals, you’re one step
closer to finally cuddling up with your pet at home again!
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