Universities gripped by puppy mania

 Puppies for relaxation

It’s exam time and I’ve written before here about the advent of the puppy room as a means of addressing exam stress. All parts of the media seem to have got rather excited about this and other stress-busting approaches as this  BBC News story demonstrates:


Can be used for other purposes too

Can be used for other purposes too

University students have ordered hundreds of metres of bubble wrap to burst as a way of relieving exam stress.

The University of Leicester students’ union is planning “bubble wrap stations” where students can relax by popping the packaging material.

Puppies will also be brought in to soothe stressed-out students.

Michael Rubin, president elect of the students’ union, said “mental well-being is a top priority” during exams.

The students claim that the instant gratification of popping bubble wrap is a better relaxant than meditation or yoga.

Petting zoos

There will also be a more traditional form of emergency support, with free tea on offer.

“We know how stressful exams can be,” says Mr Rubin.

Nia Phillips, a media and sociology student, says many students “may feel too ashamed to speak out about exam stress”.

And she says that public events aimed at reducing stress can help students “without having to announce to anyone how they’re feeling”.

Petting zoos have become a feature of stress-busting during university exams.



Whilst there is perhaps an element of faddishness about this there is certainly a lot to be said for the approach and it does seem popular with students. Be prepared for the backlash though. It’s likely that for every student looking to relax with a puppy there will be another one outside demonstrating against animal cruelty.

Still, it’s something for the media to focus on before it’s time for the traditional A level fuss.

For straightforward (animal free) exam advice there is plenty about such as this University of Nottingham page.



Exam stress? Head for the puppy room

It’s furry therapy apparently.

yep. a puppy room

Indeed. A puppy room

Last year we heard that Dalhousie University in Canada had provided a puppy room to help students deal with exam stress. Now it seems that another university has joined in and, according to the Huffington Post, Aberdeen Students are also getting a puppy room to help them relax during revision:

Stressed out students at Aberdeen University in Scotland are going to be given a special room on campus to calm down with puppies during the exam period.

Aberdeen University’s Exam Welfare Initiative is teaming up with Guide Dogs For The Blind Association to offer the furry therapy after receiving positive feedback from students.

Emma Carlen, Aberdeen University’s president of societies and student activities, said in a statement: “We got a really positive reaction to that from both the guide dogs and the students, it really chilled them out, so that encouraged us to get this set up for the exam period.”

They are setting up a rooms on campus between the 13th and 23rd May. The university is also offering smoothie and apple give aways to calm stressed out students as well as onsite-massage at the library, yoga taster sessions a health walk on the beach.

Last October, researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan found that photos of kittens, puppies and the like don’t just make people feel better – they also help them to concentrate.

Don’t know what it will do for NSS scores but wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be an entry in this year’s Times Higher Education awards.

University Adds “Puppy Room” to Fight Finals Jitters

Now this is real innovation in supporting the student experience

A top story from Hack College on a university which has brought in a “Puppy Room” to help students fight exam stress:

Aww. Aren’t they cute? Now I’m ready to face that exam

 As finals week looms closer and the stress begins to pile, most college students see self-destructive habits rise considerably, in the form of eating worse, sleeping less, and more often than not, drinking too much. But one Canadian university has found a new, novel, and undoubtedly popular way to help combat stress in a safer, and altogether fuzzier way: a room full of puppies.

That’s right. Puppies.

Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada has made what could be the most popular addition to any university in history in the form of a room filled with puppies, solely to help students relax and drive away the finals week stress. The Puppy Room will be open to students of Dalhousie University from December 4th – 6th thanks to Therapeutic Paws Of Canada, a non-profit organization that brings dogs and cats to schools, residences and hospitals in order to promote happiness and relaxation.

“It’s a great idea,” said student Michael Kean, who suggested the puppy room to the school. ”There’s no downfall about therapy dogs. Students, we’re stressed out, don’t know what to do, and they’re fluffy. It comes down to that.”

Looking to the future, this idea could be expanded to cover a wider range of stressful activities for students and could include a variety of animals to ensure individual preferences are met. The first university to do this in the UK would be bound to win a THE award.

Anyway, this is the last piece of nonsense here in 2012. There will be more in the new year. Have a relaxing break (with or without puppies).