Students at the University of Manitoba got a cuddle-filled study break Thursday, courtesy of some four-legged friends.

It’s crunch time on the U of M campus, with exams and final papers due in the coming weeks, so the university’s health and wellness program stepped up to offer some relief from the stress.

The program brought in five therapy dogs to the university’s Bannatyne campus to boost the spirits of students Thursday afternoon.

"It’s that chance to put away the books for a second, to come out and do something that’s fun for me instead of for school," said Lia Cerasani, an occupational therapy student at the university.

The program started in February to help students who were stressed out from exams.

Brian Postl is the dean of the faculty of medicine at the university.

"There is evidence that dog therapy really reduces the anxiety and makes people feel much better. It can even improve things like vital signs in people who are struggling," said Postl.

"I think they are just really soothing creatures to people who are stressed."

Stevi Golden-Plotnik was one of dozens of students who lined up to pat the pups.

"I really do find they are calming and relaxing," said Golden-Plotnik.