Skip Navigation

Produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Subscribe Now
Campus & Community

Cuteness Overload at PuppyPalooza

Frolicking With Furry Friends Gives Stressed Students a Finals Week Break

By Maryland Today Staff

Puppy in purse

Photos by Tyler Ecker

Bentley, from Pets on Wheels, finds a cozy seat in volunteer Jessica Price's purse at PuppyPalooza at the Stamp Student Union yesterday. That nonprofit and Fidos for Freedom shared some of their therapy dogs with students studying for finals this week.

Whether they know it or not, students are walking around campus virtually stewing in cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone” that finals week causes to flow freely. Although it helps keep you frosty for that calculus final or big presentation (particularly piggybacked with large volumes of coffee), sometimes you need a break.

That’s where the puppies came in yesterday at the Stamp Student Union. Hundreds stopped by to cuddle with tiny dogs at PuppyPalooza, a tradition from Stamp Special Events every semester on campus since at least 2011. The 15 or so yesterday were part of Pets on Wheels and Fidos for Freedom.

Sure, many consider the juvenile canines “cute,” and garner subjective feelings of happiness from playing with them. What’s been demonstrated by science, however, is that interacting with dogs induces your pituitary gland to crank up production of another hormone—oxytocin—known for its role in feelings of euphoria, creating social bonding and fighting depression.

While dog lovers might find it overly reductive to think of it as such, who couldn’t use a strong dose of the “love hormone” during finals?

1 of 5

DSC 0133 1920x1080

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.