SU Therapy Dog Sessions are Paw-fect for Relaxation

The season of assignments and due dates is rapidly approaching, and everyone is stressed. To combat this, every Tuesday between 1pm-3pm the Students’ Union run a therapy dog session where students can go to de-stress with a furry friend.

We went and spent our session with Ted the Cocker Spaniel who was the friendliest dog I’ve ever met. I’m a little nervous when it comes to dogs and was a little uncomfortable at first. However, after a little while, I got more comfortable being around Ted, because all he wanted was to be stroked and have all of the attention on him. It was a great distraction from the essay I was working on for fifteen minutes, and it was great experience to get myself used to dogs. Ted’s owner, Marion, was also great company.

In recent years, animal therapy has become more popular as a practice. Pets As Therapy (a UK-based charity founded in 1983) currently have over 4000 volunteers, and have worked with over 20,000 dogs to bring ‘access to the companionship of a friendly pet’ to anybody that would like it. It has been found that petting animals causes an automatic relaxation response as serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin are released, elevating our mood.

Having this service on campus is perfect for anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed with studies or for anyone who is simply missing their dogs from home. I recommend every visit Ted at least once during the year, not only because he will reduce your stress levels, but because he’s the friendliest dog who just wants cuddles.

Slots are available 1-3pm every Tuesday during term time and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. To book, email with your name, email address, phone number and number of people attending (up to 3).

Grace Robinson is a second-year English Student. She is passionate about feminism, politics and Society. You can find her on Instagram: @grace.lizz12

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