Pets are Helping Us through the COVID-19 Pandemic
Many animal shelters are now empty. No dogs, no cats, not even a little bunny. This is a direct result of the stay at home, shelter in place lifestyles forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. The joy of bringing a new four-legged family member into the house can lift spirits during a very sad and challenging time in many people’s lives.
Pets Brighten Your Day
Animals can offer a tremendous amount of affection and companionship. That’s especially true for those who live alone or are separated from their families due to COVID-19.
For many having a pet around the house brightens the day. A survey by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute found that 80 percent of pet owners said their pets made them feel less lonely. Researchers at Ohio State University found that avoiding loneliness was the most common reason people gave for living with a companion animal. Other studies have found that pets can promote social interactions with people.
Helping Those Who Are Isolated, Lonely
Many people are suffering traumatic losses, stress, and anxiety, or simply miss going out to events. Having a pet can give them something positive to focus on and keep them busy.
Dogs can help reduce stress and improve well-being by increasing physical activity. Most dog owners regularly walk their dogs, which leads to valuable health benefits for both the owner and pet. Pets also provide valuable emotional support. Adopting a pet may be especially beneficial to people who live alone, and who are more isolated during this period of social distancing.
Dogs have a particular ability to make connections with humans. They can distinguish different types of emotional expressions on people’s faces and are particularly sensitive to human voices.
Most importantly, many people report that their pets give them a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging. Studies comparing pet owners to non-owners reveal that people with pets feel less lonely. Compared to other types of pets, dogs may be especially helpful in reducing loneliness because they provide absolute and unconditional love.
Benefits and Responsibilities
Adopting or fostering a pet during the pandemic means making a commitment to your pet. Having a pet means you benefit from their affection and companionship, but it also comes with responsibilities. You need to make sure that when your lifestyle returns to some degree of normalcy that your pet’s needs are still being met.
Mitchell Agency Loves Their Pets
Even though those of us at the Mitchell Agency who own pets, love them dearly, it does not make us experts on how to train, feed, exercise or clean them. But we are happy to answer any questions regarding business insurance. Just give us a call at 765-742-1135.