Cats and dogs can reduce feelings of loneliness, thereby reducing stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a study from the United Kingdom, pets can improve people’s mental health during self-isolation.
Scientists interviewed more than 6,000 Britons who had experienced severe quarantines about their mental health and pets.
People with pets also complained about the stress from isolation, but this feeling was relieved by the animals that were always around. This was confirmed by 90% of respondents. Some of the respondents added that pets also had a positive impact on family relationships.
However, it turned out that people with a stronger emotional bond with a pet, on the contrary, felt worse.
“Interestingly, stronger reported human-animal bonds were associated with poorer mental health pre-lock down, highlighting that close bonds with animals may indicate psychological vulnerability in owners,” the study authors say.
Stress in humans was caused by excessive concern for the well-being of animals during quarantine, associated with the lack of adequate walking. Some worried about what would happen to the four-legged animals after the quarantine was over when people would have to return to work.
“This work is particularly important at the current time as it indicates how having a companion animal in your home can buffer against some of the psychological stress associated with lockdown,” says Daniels Mills, an animal behavior researcher at the University of Lincoln.
However, during the pandemic, there was a great demand for pets in many U.S. states. Scientists are worried that after quarantine the animals will not be thrown out into the street again.