Thesis: Taking a Paws: Examining the Effect of Therapy Dog Exposure on Stress Reactivity and The Moderating Role of Pet Attitude and Personality

Anastasia examined whether exposure to a therapy dog can buffer the stress response and whether the buffer effect is moderated by pet attitude or personality.

Findings show that therapy dog exposure significantly buffers the stress response as measure by skin conductance. A similar pattern was found for affective reactivity in that participants exposed to a therapy dog reported less decline in positive affect compared with the control group who reported greater decline in positive affect.

Findings are published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (see publication list).