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Jun 16, 2015

Have Pup, Will Study – Pet-Friendly Study Spots

Maybe you really want to study outside of the house, but your furry friend wants attention too. Who wants to hit the books all alone? Even if your goal truly is to banish a backlog of draining facts and figures, an issue is always where to go. You want — no, you need — to get out of the dorm or apartment. Where can you concentrate, keep the intellectual juices flowing and bring a four-legged companion? Pet-friendly options abound, you just have to find them.

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Park It in the Park
Studying doesn’t have to be boring for you or for your pet. Most campuses and towns have municipal parks, grassy quads or recreation areas that allow fur people and offer a shady nook where you can kick back and learn. Pack a Frisbee and water with your own supplies. Find a spot that puts you at ease and gives your dog something to watch. Set your smartphone alarm. Study for 45 minutes. Play or walk with Fido for 10 or 15. Lather, rinse and repeat.

It works! A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study demonstrated that interspersing academic study with physical activity increased learning ability. What does this mean for you and Fluffy in the park? You’ll knock out the drudge work, reward yourself with some fun and tire out your devoted fuzzball. And probably ace your exam, too!

Doggy Bag It
The West Coast is one of the most pet-friendly areas in the nation! Whether you’re determined to sip a skinny latté while you solve statistics probabilities or crave a double cheeseburger and smoothie as reward for conjugating all the irregular Spanish verbs, there’s a place for you and your fluffy study buddy.

You won’t have to eat or drink alone, and your pup won’t have to go without. In addition to neighborhood treateries, chains like Starbucks, In-N-Out, Sprinkles, Sonic and Johnny Rockets will feed you and your shaggy pal goodies like puppuccino, pup patties, sugar-free yogurt-iced cupcakes, puppy burgers and pupcakes.

Hang It Anywhere
Sometimes you just want a few peaceful hideaway moments away from it all. However, places that offer quiet solitude for you and your animal friend don’t always allow for comfortable seating. Some places may be downright miserable if you have to settle for a spot on hard ground. Thankfully, relatively new technology has put a wondrous device at your fingertips — the compact portable hammock.

Incredibly strong and durable, most are made of parachute material and weigh less than a pound. They easily slip inside a backpack alongside a water bottle and your books and take mere seconds to loop around a pair of trees or posts. Many offer insect netting options, too. Take a walk with Fido, find a spot, pour your pup a bowl of water and settle in for a lazy afternoon of studying. Some furry friends might watch the birds, but quite a few have been known to enjoy time simply snoozing and sharing hammock time with their humans.

No Matter Where You Are 
Finding fun places to study with your pet can be an adventure. Be aware, however, that in most areas, leash, immunization and licensing laws are facts of life designed to keep your pet safe. Remember, too, that if you want areas to continue to remain pet-friendly, everyone must exercise their manners. With a little forethought and planning, bringing your furry companion along on study sessions can be a real tail-wagger for both of you. You’ll know your stuff, and that fur person who depends on you just might, too!

Book It to the Library
Don’t have a pet to study with? Google search “dog study library,” and watch amazed as images and news articles pop up recognizing the stress relief that pet companionship provides. Posters read, “Paws for a Study Break” or “Feeling Stressed Over Exams?” All invite stressing students to attend and let a calming canine help them cram. Most of these opportunities come with trained, temperament-stable certified therapy dogs, a real boon at universities where students are unable to have pets.

Colleges are increasingly recognizing the role animals play in their students' mental and emotional well-being. Even if you can’t have your dog, you can have access to a cold wet nose and the thump of a happy tail. An article posted on CNN.com titled “Therapy Dogs: Perfect Medicine To Help Students Survive Finals” focused on evidence supporting two facts. First, interacting with pets increases “oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and reduces blood pressure.” Second, excessive stress impairs memory. Even if your campus doesn’t currently have a therapy dog program, you might be the person to help start one.

REFERENCE SOURCES

Physical activity boosts learning and academic achievement http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/pape_executive_summary.pdf

Doggy-friendly eats and treats
http://www.foodbeast.com/news/secret-doggie-menus/

Library
CNN article
http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/19/health/students-therapy-dogs/
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
http://www.unlv.edu/event/quotpawsquot-study-break-lied-library
University of Texas
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/news/therapy-dog-study-break-students-pcl-1210
search for dog study library
https://www.google.com/search?q=dogs+on+college+campuses&biw=1680&bih=890&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hJFsVaLhAsKwsAWf0IOICg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg#tbm=isch&q=dog+study+library

portable parachute hammocks
http://www.hammockbliss.com/hammock-bliss-ultralight
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/products/hammocks.jsp