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Pet Therapy Aims To Help Students At University Of Arizona Law School De-Stress

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/14/2011 12:39 pm Updated: 12/21/2011 1:09 pm

Pet therapy isn't just for nursing homes and hospitals -- students at the University of Arizona law school are also receiving visits from furry visitors to help relieve end-of-year stress.

University of Arizona News reported that volunteers and animals from the Delta Society, an animal therapy service, are visiting the James E. Rogers College of Law this week, as students prepare for final exams and projects. Some dogs even had Starbucks gift certificates tucked into their vests.

"You can just see the stress levels go down," Delta Society volunteer Joan Leslie told UA News.

Pets can't necessarily cure stress or other mental health problems, but they can help because of the comfort and unconditional love they provide, WebMD reported.

Pets "just feel good to hold on to," psychologist Teri Wright, Ph.D., who practices in Santa Ana, Calif., told WebMD.

Other schools also provide pet therapy services for its students. The New York Times reported earlier this year that Yale Law School was doing a trial run with Monty the therapy dog, available for lending to students for 30-minute periods.

And also for finals season this year, the student government at Arizona Western College is offering therapy dogs to students to help them chill out during the stressful time of year, the Yuma Sun reported. Therapy dogs are or were also available at the University of California, San Diego, as well as California State University San Bernardino, according to news reports.

For more health benefits of pets, click through this slideshow from HuffPost blogger Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph.D:

They Can Help Your Allergies
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Pets can help prevent eczema and some allergies in children. Babies and toddlers who live with dogs -- but not cats -- have lower rates of childhood eczema than those raised without dogs. And young children who've had a cat or dog since their first year of life have fewer pet allergies than other kids their age.