Petting Away Stress: Therapy Dogs Ease Test Anxiety

Pets Helping Stress and Anxiety

Studying for final exams can feel overwhelming for students. The preparation is exhausting right up to the day students step on campus and take their tests. With stress on the rise, there are many suggestions as to how to combat some of this anxiousness, including a newer trend . . . bringing therapy dogs on to school campuses before, during, and after exams so students can literally pet away their stress.
Pet Therapy dates back to the ancient Greeks when horses were used to lift the spirits of the seriously ill. Fast forward to modern times, animals are still being used to remedy ailments including dogs making their presence known on campuses across the U.S.. This type of pet therapy has shown to help reduce student stress by encouraging students to put their phones down, take deep breath, and feel the warmth of a dog. In addition to students being 'present' with these four legged visitors, pet therapy has shown to lower blood pressure, ease anxiety & depression and increase socialization during a time when these tendencies are at their peak.
We recently caught up with our friend, Betsy Kravitz, who is the proud owner of a rescue and therapy dog named, Cricket. We loved hearing Betsy's first-hand perspective on how curative "Cricket" therapy can be almost instantaneously.
Therapy Dogs
"When people meet Cricket a smile and calmness comes over their face. It is pretty magical and definitely rewarding to see how much love and peace Cricket gives out in such a short amount of time."
If pet therapy is not offered at your student's college, The Huff Post suggests 5 other ways parents can offer support to students during exam season:
  1. Send Friendly Reminders. Phone call or email, encourage your student to prepare as much as possible so they don't need to cram for their exams!
  2. Make Time For A Video Chat. There's nothing like a face to face conversation, even if it's virtual. Try to be there to talk and to listen when they need you most.
  3. Give Plenty Of Encouragement. Let your student know that, through thick and thin, you will be there to support them. Your truthful words mixed with some inspiriting compliments can be just what the doctor ordered.
  4. Mail a Care Package Filled With Healthy Options. There's nothing better than getting a package, especially during a stressful time. A care package should have uplifting items to keep them on the right track.
  5. Treat Them To Some R&R. If it's not feasible to visit your student, send along a gift voucher for an exercise class or other relaxing activity.
Help relieve some of your students test stress!
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