Pet Assisted Activities Research Paper

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Session 3—Advantages and Disadvantages of Pet-assisted Activities for Students and Organizers
For those who are willing to organize a pet-assisted activity in their college at specific times of elevated stress or at a normal time, they need to pay attention to many things. The welfare of all involved must be considered. The legislation and regulation of the university are also need to be paid attention.
The feasible forms of pet-assisted activities in college is actually very similar. One is the preparation session for the first-year students. In this session, students are noticed that they can interact with dogs. Pet-assisted activity in library and pet-assisted activity in residence hall allow students to drop in and play with dogs. Students
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“AAA programs can be implemented with minimal start-up costs and investments of staff time yet reap benefits to students’ well-being” (Reynolds 366). If the activity is short-term, volunteers who own dogs are willing to work free. Since activity can be in public space and the advertisement can be done online, the cost of pet-assisted activity can be very low. Also, it is time-efficient for students, since they can drop in and stay for 5 to 20 minutes. In the light of an alternative choice for school counseling center, “the flexibility and growing popularity of [pet-assisted activities] offer college and university counseling center staff an efficient and potentially impactful treatment option for the student populations they serve” (Stewart 340). Since pet-assisted activity is suitable for public space and its schedule also can be randomly chosen, it can be an approach for school counseling staff to influence more students. They also can interact with students who are not willing to seek services at the institution’s counseling center. Pet-assisted activities’ flexibility and potential to impact more student populations may be a choice for counselling center to deal with an increase in the needs without corresponding increases in staff resources. Moreover, “college students are a rewarding population to work with as they are not as frail or…show more content…
Many students who do not like pets or are allergic to pets will be greatly influenced. They need to be noticed and ask for agreement in advance. Also, individuals have different responses to pets and pets’ impact on different individuals varies according to their personal experiences of pets. Some studies show that “only those who enjoy dogs are likely to experience reductions in stress, anxiety, and bad mood after interacting with a dog. Indeed, those who do not like dogs may find the experience aversive and may instead experience increases in stress, anxiety, and bad mood” (Picard 20). Female students may more possibly like to stay with a pet dog than male students when they are in a stressful period. Therefore, pet-assisted activity may only be able to benefit a limited population of college students. Another limitation is that if pet-assisted activity happens in the end of the semester when students are under a great stress and have a very busy schedule, they may not be willing to participate and this activity may affect students’ study for final exams. But some studies show that students welcome to have pet-assisted activity during their final exams. What’s more, pet-assisted activity may not be the most effective activity for students to reduce their stress. Pet-assisted

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