Therapy dogs help exam stress

Therapy dachsund

Bella the dachshund who has proved to be the paw-fact companion by helping many students to feel less stressed - Credit: Student Roost/Pets As Therapy 

Students at Chester University have been helped through this summer’s exam time by a stress-relieving expert called Bella the dachshund. 

Bella visited The Towpath student accommodation to give residents a boost as they revised for end-of-year exams and completed course assessments. Her waggy tail and calm demeanour helped provide some light relief, and students enjoyed interacting with her, having a hug, and playing.  

The dog and her owner volunteer for the charity Pets As Therapy, which encourages pet visits to schools, businesses, prisons and care homes because their presence helps to relieve tension, stress and anxiety.  

Many students miss their family pets when they are away from home and so look forward to visits of other pets. 

A student who lives at The Towpath, said: ‘I never miss a visit from Pets As Therapy. When the dogs are here, I can feel my anxiety and worries dissolving. It’s just so nice to have the opportunity to cuddle them and forget about coursework and exams for a few hours.’ 

Student Roost, the company that built and operates the student accommodation, puts on a variety of wellbeing events for the students, but regional operations manager Hana Warbrick said the pet visits were always the most popular. 

Hana said: ‘We’re lucky to have had a few visits from the volunteers and their dogs already this year, and it’s heart-warming to hear our residents talk about how much they love to see the dogs, especially during the stresses of exams and deadlines or if they’re having a tough time.’