A recent research study of stressed-out college students found the simple act of petting therapy dogs proved to be more effective at enhancing thinking and planning skills than traditional stress-management programs.
The three-year Washington State University study, published in May in the journal AERA Open, randomly assigned students to four-week programs with different combinations of human-animal interaction and evidenced-based academic stress management, then measured their executive functioning.
The students who petted therapy dogs were more relaxed and, as a result, coped better with their personal stressors, and continued to show improvements up to six weeks after their program ended.
This article was originally published by Dogster.com. Read the original article here.