Petting Canines Boosts Pondering Abilities – Dogster

A recent research study of stressed college students found that simply petting therapy dogs was more effective at improving thinking and planning skills than traditional stress management programs.

Washington State University’s three-year study, published in May in the journal AERA Open, randomly assigned students four-week programs with various combinations of human-animal interaction and evidence-based academic stress management, and then measured their executive functions.

The students who petted therapy dogs were more relaxed and therefore better at dealing with their personal stressors and continued to show improvements for up to six weeks after completing the program.

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