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Puppy Rooms in Universities

Male student hugging dog in puppy room Whether it’s midterm season or final exams, there are several periods of time in each academic school year when stress peaks. In fact, 86% of students identify with feelings of being overwhelmed at some point, while 50% recognize feelings of being lonely, sad, and ridden with anxiety. When high levels of stress come into play, mental health becomes more at-risk so it’s important to exercise stress-management.

86% of students have reported feelings of being overwhelmed.

Fortunately, many universities have begun to recognize the severity that depression and anxiety can have on students and have introduced puppy rooms as a means to cope.

What are Puppy Rooms?

Essentially, puppy rooms are exactly what they sound like—a room full of puppies! Puppy rooms have specific visiting hours when students can come and visit with the dogs; whether they want to pet them, cuddle with them, play with them, or just simply watch them it’s absolutely up to the students. Most colleges and universities will have a sign-in sheet and some volunteers monitoring the room to ensure both dogs and students are enjoying their time.

Why Puppy Rooms?

It sounds a bit silly to have rooms with specific times dedicated strictly to playing with dogs but there’s actually a purpose behind it. Many students experience life away from home for the first time while in school and this often means that their pets remain at home with their parents or guardians. Furthermore, studies have proven that puppy rooms can reduce cortisol levels, alleviate depression, and lower anxiety.

How to Organize a Puppy Room

The reason why so many colleges and universities are adopting puppy rooms during exam season is due to the benefits this clearly has on students, but also due to the ease of organizing these rooms. It should be noted that puppy rooms aren’t necessarily full of puppies; many of these are adult therapy dogs or therapy dogs in training, and often times dogs of all ages from local shelters are brought over for some quality time with the students. This doesn’t only benefit the students but the dogs as well since many are craving human affection while waiting to be adopted to a forever home.

Puppy rooms have become fairly popular among Canadian and American schools in recognizing that students experience high levels of anxiety and depression during stressful times of the semester. Since stress can have major effects on health and wellbeing, it’s really important that students look for resources as a means to reduce stress and continue thriving in an academic setting. How do you cope with stress during exams?