Dogs Help Students De-Stress

Photo courtesy of Dakota Cutrer.

Dakota Cutrer spends time with Snoodle.

Research has shown that dogs have an innate ability to help humans with stress, emotional regulation and can actually lower blood pressure. Owning a dog can be challenging and is usually accompanied by a price tag, but according to a Southeastern UReporter survey many people believe the rewards of dog ownership outweigh the expense. Forty-five percent of survey respondents who owned a dog either planned on having another or wished they could. Over half of respondents said they would encourage their friends to adopt.

Dog owner and Southeastern sophomore Alicia Legnon said, “I’ve always found that the connections between people and dogs, or any pet really, are positively rewarding. Dogs in particular are more animated and expressive, making it easier to tell how their feeling. I think you can get a greater sense of joy when with a dog through petting and playing with them as you can easily feel them reciprocating the positive emotions through those actions.”

According to a study published in Animal Frontiers Magazine, pets can help in the creating and maintaining of other human friendships and can help ease the transition into getting older.

Sophomore Dakota Cutrer said, “Even if they can’t verbalize it, you can feel the happiness coming off of them. A good dog helps remind you that you’re wanted, even when you don’t want yourself. A friend’s dog, Suzy, helped me deal with my depression over the years. She always came up to me and licked my shin, even in her older age.”

Cutrer is not alone. Reports are showing an increase in depression on college campuses and Forbes believes that dogs are the most cost-effective and efficient aid to both students and mental health services available on campus. 

Southeastern students can find information about our counseling services here.

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