Applaud Colleges for Reducing Student Stress with Therapy Dogs


Target: President James W. Wagner, President of Emory University

Goal: Show your appreciation for colleges that help students de-stress during finals by bringing trained therapy dogs to campus

From helping people sick in hospitals to providing therapy for army veterans, dogs can do wonders to de-stress people. With stress levels in students across America reportedly rising, colleges have implemented programs during finals week for students to meet and greet trained therapy dogs.

The dogs come from strictly loving homes, so they are used to sounds like computer printers or vacuums and can calmly walk up stairs and go up elevators. The people that bring the dogs typically are the ones who house the dogs, which helps ensure that the dogs feel safe around so many different people.

Before finals week, the dog de-stress opportunity is made known to students. In an outdoor space on campus or inside a library, students can meet the dogs. During two hour shifts, which are divided into ten minute sessions with individual students, the dogs help to alleviate student stress. Universities such as the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University are following this trend, which is thought to have been started by Emory University.

Across America, mental health counselors at universities can see a visible improvements in students’ bright smiles and relaxed postures once the students see a dog. The dogs offer students a chance to take a wider view of life and value what truly is important: love for one another.

Science shows that simply being around dogs can increase oxytocin, a chemical in the brain that lessens anxiety and high blood pressure levels. Furthermore, petting or caring for dog can stifle stress. Dogs can also reduce fear by providing people with security and giving them peace of mind. By eliminating fear, students can better focus on their studies rather than the upcoming tests alone.

Please praise the program that allows college students to learn and to grow their love for dogs.


Dear President Wagner,

Thank you so much for the dog therapy program at Emory University that allows students to de-stress during finals week. Many schools have followed your paw prints.

Dogs have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, and mental health counselors can physically see a change in students’ behavior. Without fear or anxiety, students can better study and thus perform better.

Please continue to keep this program and ensure that every student knows of this magical opportunity.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fordham University

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