therapy dogs

Tufts students get therapy dogs to ease exam stress.

Tufts University is throwing stressed-out students a bone: therapy dogs to play with during their final exams.


Colleges have long extended library hours and offered extra counseling around test time. Now they’re adopting quirky stress-fighting events for students , who face a tough job market in addition to finishing up the semester. From dog visits to free midnight massages to laser tag, students are getting help navigating those last days before turning in final papers and taking finals.

“I hope these puppies make me happy and give me a nice break between studying … just cut the studying a little bit,” 19-year-old Tufts freshman Chloe Wong said on Tuesday, petting an Australian shepherd brought in by her resident director.

She called her first semester “challenging.” But on Tuesday, the community health major got to relax and play with a set of dogs that resident director Michael Bliss brought in. They set down their books, laptops and e-readers for a chance to pet, feed and even chase the therapy animals. “Every college student has stress around finals,” said Bliss, who came up with the idea of dog visits after participating in a similar program as an undergraduate at New York University.