Therapy dogs return to campus to help students relieve finals’ stress

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With finals quickly approaching, stress is at an all-time high for students and faculty. Nothing a few wagging tails can’t fix.

A team of registered therapy dogs from Pet Partners will be on campus May 3 at the Meadows School of the Arts’ Taubman Atrium between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The event is free to members of the SMU community.

Pet Partners strives to create healthy human-animal interactions, hoping to improve people’s physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being. Their animals not only assist students battling exams, but also work with those from a variety of backgrounds, including veterans with PTSD, seniors living with Alzheimer’s and those with physical and mental disabilities. Pet Partners not only works with dogs, but also cats, birds, pigs, horses and even alpacas.

Therapy dogs have become a tradition on The Hilltop at the end of the semester. Research suggests that spending between 5-24 minutes with a calm dog can reduce blood pressure and the amount of stress hormones released into the body. A 2001 study found that pet-owning individuals could also keep their stress-level down over time better than those without pets.

So when your head is buried in a book next Tuesday, remember that spending some time with man’s best friend could do you some good.

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