Dogs aren't just furry friends, they are also a method of stress relief!
Almost everyone in the world loves the cuddly, friendly, and loyal companions we call dogs. They can be a bit tough to take care of sometimes, but the pros of owning a dog definitely outweigh the cons. Dogs provide people with company, entertainment, happiness, and even stress relief!
Stress is something that all humans experience; especially teenagers, college students, and young adults. A recent study, in which 249 college students were separated into groups and instructed to interact with cats and dogs in various ways showed that those students that had direct contact with the animals had significantly lower cortisone levels than those who simply observed the interactions. Cortisone is one of the main hormones that is released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, which proves the theory that interacting with animals is good for improving your mental health.
Many high schools, airports, college campuses, and hospitals bring in trained animals of all varieties (including pot-bellied pigs and small horses) in order to relieve stress levels of the people at their facilities. Specifically around midterms and finals week, colleges often bring in a large number of puppies for students to play with during their study breaks, in order to provide some sort of emotional support during such a stressful time of the semester. In airports, people that are scared of flying or have a fear of heights are often encouraged to pet a trained dog or cat prior to boarding in order to have positive emotions and be calm about the whole situation. Some therapy dogs even help veterans and their families readjust to civilian life, especially those that may have had some traumatic experiences.
So, the next time that you are finding yourself stressed, set up some alone time to play with your favorite pet. And if you don’t have a pet, you can always seek out a local therapy dog service (yes, those do exist). If you are lucky enough to attend a college campus that brings therapy dogs to campus during finals week, definitely take advantage of the opportunity! Our team at Curbicus thinks these therapy dogs are pretty awesome! What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments if you have ever heard of these “stress relief dogs” and if it's something you have ever had the opportunity to experience or something that you are interested in!