If you start seeing more dogs in the classroom, don’t be surprised! The idea of therapy dogs in schools to offer support for students is gaining momentum. It’s not solely our love for these snuggle goofballs that motivates this growing trend in the U.S. There is also a tremendous amount of statistical data that backs up how beneficial their presence is in the classroom.
The happiness we feel in the presence of our pups isn’t just in our heads. There are physical changes that occur simply by being around these gentle beings. Just a little pat on the furry head can go as far as reducing blood pressure and assisting in pain management, according to an article by Therapy Dogs.
There are some social benefits that come with dog-friendly classrooms, besides an extra furry playmate during recess. The bond between doggos and kids is undeniable, as our pets provide kids with a non-judgemental outlet of expression and offer someone to confide in. Not only that, their presence has been proven to increase positive behavior in students, according to an article by We are the Teachers (WETT). WETT also says that having that special four-legged friend available during school hours allows kids to feel a boosted level of self-esteem. And no one can deny that the goofy, slobbering smile on a pup’s face can make for some laughs.
The effect that therapy dogs have on students and teachers can be described as miraculous in helping to treat trauma, creating a positive learning environment, and aiding students that suffer from learning disabilities, like autism, according to Alliance of Therapy Dogs. The presence of a dog in the classroom creates a positive environment and significantly reduces the stress of students and teachers, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Even the act of petting a dog lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Through this reduction of anxiety, kids are able to learn more as they can be more focused on the content.
Having a pupper in the classroom goes much further than the emotional and social benefits listed above. It has been proven that having a furry classmate has cognitive benefits like improving memory and problem-solving skills, according to WETT. Dogs in the classroom can also help young readers gain confidence. With the unwavering support of these furballs, why not try reading that challenging story?
Now that you’ve learned about dogs in the classroom, learn about pups in the office! Check out our blog post on the benefits of having doggos in the workplace!