Most people are having a hard time coping with lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone is looking for ways to adjust to all the health and safety protocols we have to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19. People began working at home as authorities implemented lockdowns in most areas with many positive cases. Some people have been able to adjust to the new normal, while others may need additional support to relieve their stress and anxiety.
A study shows that pets can help families cope with lockdowns. Experts learned that owning a pet is connected with humans’ well-being, linking pet ownership to mild levels of abandonment. The link yielded positive associations regardless of the type of pet. In the United Kingdom, there were about 6,000 subjects who participated in the survey, and as much as 90% of them had at least one pet at home. The study showed that people owning pets have better mental health than those who have no pets at home.
One discovery in the study was that the emotional bond level between humans and their pets did not make any difference with animal species. While some animals such as horses, cats, and dogs scored a little higher on the Comfort from the Companion Animals Scale (CCA), but it did not make much of a difference when adjusted to other factors.
The study shows that the concept called the “social buffering hypothesis” is at work. This hypothesis proposes that any type of animal in a group of humans is more pertinent than that animal’s specific characteristic. This indicates that a hamster can be as important to someone’s mental health as a cat or dog.
The relationship between humans and dogs is usually assumed to have a more significant impact on the health of humans. The relationship also paves the way for humans to take care of their dogs more and provide them with healthy dog food to return their affection.
Some experts suggest that people should not immediately go to a pet store to purchase a companion pet. The study may have positive results, but they may not be significant clinically. For starters, it is best to read books first to help you prepare for having a pet as a companion.
Having a pet may mitigate some of the COVID-19 lockdown effects on humans. However, even if the effect is not clinically significant, it does help protect people from succumbing to depression and anxiety brought by the pandemic. Experts believe that buying a new pet may not help at this time.
The above-mentioned research aims to provide information about the relationship between humans and pet bonds, especially among those with mental health vulnerabilities. The study also shows owners of pets have increased anxiety in some cases. Some of these owners worry about their pet’s welfare during the lockdown. They also fear that they may not be able to visit pet clinics due to lockdown restrictions, which increases the stress for their concern over the pet’s health.
Having pets around the house during the pandemic brings joy to all members of the family. It creates a special bond that allows exchanges of emotion towards each other. Pets can be a great companion as they help us to form emotional bonds, and seeing our pets happy and healthy also helps us cope with the new normal.