Puppy Room At Dalhousie: University Brings In Dogs For Stress Therapy

A Canadian university is trying a new tactic to help relieve students from exam-time stress: puppies.

Dalhousie University is filling a room on campus with puppies from Dec. 4 through Dec. 6 for students to visit and play with the animals between exams.

The puppy room will be open for two hours on the first two days and for five hours on the third day. The dogs will be provided by Therapeutic Paws of Canada, a non-profit organization that trains animals to help people with therapeutic or practical needs.

Dalhousie's student union posted an ad for the puppy room on its Facebook page and within 24 hours, it was shared nearly 2,000 times.

Hundreds of students expressed their excitement over the puppy room on the Facebook posting.

'My major paper is due at 4 PM on the 4th... I will beeline it to the Puppy Room,' wrote Dal student Jimmy Tennant.

Abby Bryant wrote, 'AWESOME!' and Athea Costello wrote: 'This is the best idea ever!!'

Michelle Pressé said she was already feeling the effects of the animal therapy.

'Thank you, thank you, thank you!' she wrote. 'I'm so excited, I already feel less stressed now.' Added Bethan Ingraham: 'Nothing brings stressed out university students together like the promise of puppy cuddles!'

Alumni grumbled over the fact that the puppy room wasn't offered when they attended Dal (this is the first time the school is offering it) and students from other schools expressed their jealousy.

'I think it should be open to Alumni. Granted we already wrote the exams, but I could argue we are still stressed,' wrote Lola Doucet.

Some dog owners offered up their own pets for the cuddle sessions, but the student union said only trained therapy dogs were allowed to participate.

Dogs have been helping students de-stress at a number of U.S. schools, as well.

From Kent State University in Ohio to Macalester College in Minnesota, more and more pooches are around campus during exams to help students relax, according to the Associated Press.

'We had a student who came in and a staff person commented they had never seen that student smile,' Richelle Reid, a law librarian who started Emory's pet therapy program, told the AP. 'It has had positive effects, helping them to just have a moment to clear their minds and not have to think about studies, not have to think about books.'

Pups are in counseling centers for students to visit regularly or faculty and staff bring their pets to lift spirits.

Pet-friendly dorms also are popping up where students can bring their dogs or cats from home. and at Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, students can 'rent' pets for some alone time.

VIDEO Therapy dogs

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