Furry friends like dogs provide their human counter parts with a companion to have fun with, to love, and to spend time with when times get lonely. Dogs are not purely recreational however, these wonderful animals serve many other significant purposes, such as being emotionally supportive and therapeutic to people!
Within the past few years, a growing number of universities have started to offer pet therapy as a means to help students reduce stress during tough times in college. Having a pet is beneficial to your health in many ways, such as reducing stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol and increasing levels of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. Additionally, dogs can help with lowering blood pressure and easing depression.
Recently, La Salle introduced a new dog friendly dorm, St. George Hall, on campus. The Philadelphia university is one of the first in the country to allow pets in on campus housing.
La Salle has partnered with the popular pet company Purina, for their dog friendly dorm. The Vice President of Student Affairs, Dawn Soufleirs, Ph.D, stated the importance of dogs for college students, saying, “We recognize that there are mental, physical, and emotional benefits to having a pet, and are excited to provide this option to our on-campus community.”
There are some rules regarding having dogs in the dorms: there can only be one per room, the dog can’t be younger than one year old, and has to be under 40 pounds. The university also built a dog park to help the dogs move around and have fun outside. This new change is a great move in the right direction. Hopefully other college campuses across the country can follow in La Salle’s footsteps!