Dogs Are Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic

Dogs Are Heroes of the Pandemic

It might be much easier to get through the fear, sadness and isolation of the pandemic if you had a loving and faithful dog.

The study that shows how depression, anxiety and happiness during the first year of the pandemic were perceived differently by dog owners compared to people who had no dogs was published in the journal PLOS One.

Dogs and the Pandemic

Francois Martin, one of the researchers who study the connections between animals and humans, learnt it at first hand. He is the head for the Behavior and Welfare Group at Nestle Purina in St. Joseph, Mo. His two Great Danes carried him through these unique two years of the pandemic. And he took the advantage of this period to make a special analysis on the subject with his team.

They interviewed more than 1,500 study participants who had dogs or possible dog owners to find out how dogs provide social support to their owners. The study was conducted in November 2020 and in spring 2021.

It emerged that the depression rates for dog owners were significantly lower than for potential dog owners. Dog owners were also much more positive about pets during this period and paid more attention to them.

Dogs During the Pandemic

Herewith people who suffered a lot by COVID and had low social support, the value of their dogs was stronger. The researcher argue that living with a dog gives people a strong sense of social support, comprehension and weakens negative psychological influence of the pandemic.

Meanwhile Teri Wright, a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Ana, California, agrees that pets can provide companionship, affection and amusement. However she says this may be not the right choice for everybody. It depends on the circumstances and the individual because dogs can also create a lot of stress.

Stanley Coren, a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, states that a person stroking his or her dog reduces the level of stress or anxiety for a moment, but not for a long time. Dogs can help lower the depression because they give a person unconditional love. But there are a lot of anxieties during COVID. The dog releases social anxiety, but not financial or medical anxiety.

Dogs and Pandemic

Communication with a dog is especially useful for those who do not have other social support during the pandemic. The dog will have a meaningful effect on your mental health if you live in your own or have minimal social support.

A puppy starts licking you and being close to you when you begin getting ill. You see love in its eyes. You can't control yourself and begin playing with your dog when the pet behaves this way. This cheers you up.

Care of your pet recalls to a sense of your responsibility also as you take certain duties - you must feed and clean up after it. When you take home an animal, you take responsibility for its life. When you focus on a pet care, you have no time to think about depression.

Dogs During Pandemic

Scientists have found out that dog owners more likely do sports; they have a better night's sleep, get sick less and visit their doctor not often.

If you are already a dog lover and you can get a dog and take care of it, then you need to have one because dogs really contribute to general human welfare.

If you are not able to take care of yourself, then having an animal at your home will only worsen your condition. Another warning: if a person does not like animals, then a pet will not make his or her life better. Some people have no experience in pets care at all. A pet will not influence positively on such people in a difficult period.

More study is needed to understand better synergies between pet ownership, social support and their influence on the owners' well-being according to the researches.

Choose dog toys for your beloved Bulldog to entertain and take care of the pet!