Dogs are good for the body and mind, and for years, Humboldt State University has partnered with Therapy Dogs International to help students through finals week.
Studies have shown that therapy dogs, who are evaluated for a good temperament, can reduce anxiety and depression. In 2005, UCLA researchers compared anxiety levels of heart failure patients who were visited by two teams – one with dogs and one without. The findings revealed that patients’ anxiety score decreased 24 percent when visited by the group with dogs and 10 percent for those visited by just volunteers. The anxiety score for patients not visited remained the same.
That same year, Kent State University launched a pet therapy program, whose dogs have since visited tens of thousands of students. Today, colleges around the nation, including Humboldt State, have brought dogs on campus during strenuous academic times to help students cope with the stresses of finals.