Students De-stress from “Ruff” Semester with Therapy Dogs

Student Org implements “paws-on” approach to relieving the stress of finals


Kean University’s Office of Student Government implemented a “paws-on” approach to relieving the stress of finals — therapy dogs. Students were given two opportunities to pet, cuddle and talk to therapy dogs in between exams, project deadlines and portfolio reviews. Stress Less Fest on Thursday, December 13 featured a four-legged visitor from Pet Partners, and Fuel for Finals on Friday, December 14 included four furry friends from Creature Comfort Pet Therapy.

“The relationship of humans to dogs can be traced back to 12,000 years ago when these two species began to find an interdependence that developed between them for mutual goals,” said JoAnn Jarolmen, Ph.D., a lecturer in Kean’s Department of Social Work. “In college students, animal-assisted activities have reduced stress and anxiety levels and blood pressure rates. This method is also cost effective and may very well contribute to better mental health and academic outcomes.”

Students expressed their appreciation for the welcomed distraction, and noted that spending time with the dogs turned their end-of-semester stress into a walk in the dog park.

For more information about this and other events sponsored by Kean’s Office of Student Government, email

Watch the FIOS1 coverage of Kean's pet therapy for finals event.

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