Harvard and Yale students can now spend their study breaks playing with "loaner puppies" as part of the schools' dog therapy programs.
At Harvard, stressed-out students can reserve 30-minute sessions with Cooper, a Shih Tzu who visits Harvard Medical School’s Library two days a week. Yale now has two dogs on campus: Finn and Monty. Monty is so popular with students that during the year, he had a wait list of students hoping to spend some time some quality time with him.
Ivy League universities aren't the only ones offering dog therapy programs, however. Schools like Kent State University, who created a Dogs on Campus program to help students deal with separation anxiety, and the veterinary medicine colleges at Tufts University and Virginia Tech have also started dog therapy programs in an effort to benefit students.
According to an essay written in the research journal College & Undergraduate Libraries, "college students face many of the same issues as the elderly, such as living away from home, often leaving pets behind and adjusting to an impersonal institution." In addition, "studies have shown that interacting with an unknown dog reduced blood pressure, lowered anxiety, and reduced self-reported depression among college students.”