For college students final exam week can be the most stressful time they have experienced in their lives. For that reason the University of Pennsylvania has hosted its second “Canine Chillout,” a dog therapy break to help students get through finals.
Many studies have shown that being with dogs helps lower blood pressure, regulate breathing and generally improve states of mind.
The event is hosted by Vetpets, an outreach program developed by the School of Veterinary Medicine. All the dogs belong to their faculty, staff and students who volunteer their dogs for Vetpet events.
The dogs skateboard, play the piano, jump through hoops or just allow the stressed out students to pet them. All of the dogs are certified as therapy dogs, which mean that they are calm and good with people.
The dogs seem to enjoy their work as much as the people. As one vet student who brought two of her dogs said, "It's important for them to feel like they have a job, too." More on the program