Photo Credit: Maddisyn Gonzales
“Dogs, the number one most popular pets in the United States,” according to Wonderlists. That says a lot about these friendly animals. However, there’s some conflict about these fuzzy friends, whether or not they really help relieve stress.
Studies show that dogs relieve stress and help with many other health issues. Therapy dogs are a huge part of this, especially in Florida where they have therapy dogs to help comfort children after all the chaos.
And even in our small town of Lake Havasu City, therapy dogs are used in all of the schools. “The elementary schools read to the dogs and it’s really calming. The children also get to practice reading,” said Joy Koblosh, chapter leader of Love on a Leash.
But that still doesn’t answer the big question, do therapy dogs actually relieve stress. “Our attention is on them and we are not thinking about school,” said sophomore Maria Lopez.
A big role of this is oxytocin, which helps slow your heart rate, and create some sense of calm and comfort. Research shows that animal interaction increases your oxytocin levels.
With higher oxytocin levels, the more stress free you are. That overall proves one thing, dogs do relieve your stress. They are beneficial in a school environment when you just need a cuddle to improve your day, or just to help you feel better about your day in general.