Nick Pomante, student coordinator for the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility, hosted the first Wellness Woof of the fall semester on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Lake House. The event went from 4-6 p.m. and was open to all students.
The Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility has been hosting the Wellness Woof since 2018. The Office of Wellness has partnered with a 501c3 organization, Therapaws, since they began hosting the event. According to Pomante, the Wellness Woof gives students an opportunity to relax with some therapy dogs, but its' reach goes beyond that.
"Just look at the types of people that are in the groups today," Pomante said. "They’re people who may have otherwise never talked to each other or met on campus."
Pomante urges all students to attend, as the benefits of petting dogs can help reduce stress and anxiety. Stress can be linked to the production of a hormone called cortisol. Playing with or petting dogs has been proven to decrease the production of that hormone, while effectively increasing the production of the stress-reducing hormone called oxytocin.
Typically the Wellness Woof sees crowds of 70-280 students, depending on the time of year. Next month it will be held at the Lake House again, and following that in 348 McKenny. Students can follow news about the Wellness Woof, including any location changes due to weather, a number of ways. The Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility has a Facebook page to connect through, posts events on their webpage, and keeps the EMU Today events calendar updated as well.
The next Wellness Woof will take place on Oct. 16 from 4-6 p.m. at the Lake House, behind the Student Center. It is free to all students at EMU.