Isolated but Not Alone – Pets in a Time of Crisis
Every pet owner understands and cherishes the special bond they share with their furry family member. People have long known the emotional benefits of animals as a form of relief in moments of stress and anxiety. That’s why so many universities have introduced “pet therapy” days on campus to alleviate pressure during exam season.
Plus, people who have pets claim to be happier and more positive; in fact, research shows that pet owners tend to laugh 10 times more, have lower blood pressures, and are 2 times more likely to consider themselves successful. They are also more likely to take vacations and do volunteer work.¹
THE MAGIC OF PETS & PEOPLE
There are numerous reasons as to why animals bring an overwhelmingly positive energy into our lives, both directly and indirectly.
For one, pet owners generally do more exercise than the average person. Walking your dog every day forces you to be more active without intentionally trying. In turn, exercise elevates the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain – the chemicals responsible for making you feel happy and less anxious².
Additionally, people also view their pets as personal confidants, and not unsurprisingly. What better way of venting your troubles than to confess them to someone who will neither judge nor criticize? Someone who will listen without interruption and comfort without hesitation? Studies show that 43% of owners enjoy talking to their pets, and 16% of those say that they wouldn’t be talking to anyone at all if they didn’t have a pet¹.
WHAT THIS MEANS DURING COVID-19
The above finding is especially encouraging because it means that people who live alone during these turbulent times will never have to feel alone, not truly. When animals have the extraordinary ability to bring us calm and peace, there’s no doubt they can uplift spirits in times of crisis and uncertainty.
So, we hope you cherish your pets even more, and shower them with extra love for all that they do for us unconditionally. And when we finally come out of this pandemic – and we will – remember the ones who kept us sane, who gave us hope, and who brought a little bit of light into our darkest days.
Let’s also remember to adopt or purchase responsibly. Animal shelters have seen a spike in adoptions in recent months, but fear for the implications after the pandemic has subsided, as pet ownership may no longer conform with people's’ lifestyles.
 Elsworthy, E. (2018, August 6). Owning a pet increases chance of happiness, says study. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pet-happiness-animals-dog-cat-health-wellbeing-a8479526.html
 Dusenbery, M. (2019, October 18). How Exercise Affects 2 Important ‘Happy’ Chemicals in Your Brain. Livestrong. https://www.livestrong.com/article/251785-exercise-and-its-effects-on-serotonin-dopamine-levels