UC Davis students got some special visitors Friday afternoon.
In a more than two hour event called “Therapy Fluffies,” hosted by the library and Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), certified therapy dogs met students in the Shields Library courtyard.
“Interacting with and petting a therapy animal can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and increase emotional well-being,” SHCS asserts on its Facebook page.
The dogs were from the Lend A Heart Foundation of Sacramento, which brings pets to hospitals, schools, libraries – even the airport.
Therapy Fluffies was launched on campus in fall 2010 and has since become a quarterly event often timed around midterms, according to the SHCS website.
Dogs from the Yolo County SPCA and independent therapy dog teams take part in the on-campus events.
SHCS cites the American Heart Association’s research, which has found that those who own pets have less of a heart-disease risk. There are also mental-health and blood-pressure benefits to being around and interacting with animals, other studies have found.
“People who spend time petting or playing with a dog show elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that contribute to relaxation and calmness,” SHCS says.