Researchers from the University of British Columbia questioned 246 students both before and after they spent time with a therapy dog.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia questioned 246 students both before and after they spent time with a therapy dog. The students were allowed to interact with seven to 12 dogs during each therapy sessions. The students were allowed to pet, cuddle and interact with all of the dogs or could spend one-on-one time with their favourite canine during the study. All types of dogs, including big, small and mixed breed therapy dogs were involved. From there, students were allowed to do whatever they wanted in the sessions, whether it be to pet and interact will all of the dogs or spend quality time with their favourite canine. After the sessions, students reported feeling less stressed, more energetic and happier, even in sessions as little as 15 minutes or so of interacting with the dogs. The study also revealed an equally positive effect for both male and female students from the therapy dog sessions. Though previous research had indicated that women experience more positive effects from therapy dog sessions then men, the UBC study found the positive results to be evenly distributed across genders.
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