Campus Community

Destress with Pets Goes Virtual

March 8, 2021

Illustration of different dogs with their names underneath each image.

Image credit: Seattle U Health and Wellness Crew (HAWC)

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Since 2014, the Health and Wellness Crew (HAWC) at Seattle University has organized one of the most popular on-campus events, Destress with Dogs. Held each quarter ahead of finals exams, the intent is to provide a much-needed break from the stress and anxiety that comes with preparing for final examinations.

According to the Washington Post, scientists believe that the major source of people’s positive reactions to pets comes from oxytocin, a hormone whose many functions include stimulating social bonding, relaxation, trust and easing stress. 

With COVID-19 preventing the event’s typical format, HAWC continues to care for the emotional well-being of students by offering Destress with Pets on March 8, a virtual alternative to the annual event, featuring images of a variety of animal companions. Seattle U students, faculty and staff have submitted pet pictures to post on the HAWC Instagram page (@seattleuhawc) for students to view via ConnectSU ahead of finals week.  
“Our virtual event is designed to provide a stress-free and comforting environment for students to take a small break from studying—the week before finals—to relax,” says Jaanhavi Kannan, ’22, HAWC treasurer. 


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