With people staying at home more than ever these days, pets are getting lots of attention and love from their owners. Some people have even gotten closer with fellow dog owners in the neighborhood because they’re the only other people they see out and about.
“The only people that I’ve talked to in the past two weeks are all of my dog owner friends in the neighborhood and in my building, and it’s just a nice way of still connecting with human beings, and the only reason we’re out is because we’re walking our dogs,” New York City resident Nancy Karan told the Associated Press.
With the current COVID-19 outbreak, many cities like New York and Los Angeles have shelter-in-place orders, which allow people to only leave their homes for essentials. While cats and dogs are reaping some of the benefits of having their favorite humans home, some people have admitted that they are also grateful for the animal companionship during this time.
“I feel like it’s important because being alone at home kind of is hard but with a pet you have someone to take care of, someone to play with you, someone to greet you in the morning so it’s kind of like really calming and comforting during this time,” Ufuoma George, the owner of a black labrador retriever, told the Associated Press.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), pets can help cope with stressful situations and improve mental health.
“In a survey of pet owners, 74 percent of pet owners reported mental health improvements from pet ownership, and 75 percen of pet owners reported a friend’s or family member’s mental health has improved from pet ownership,” the ADAA notes.
Human-animal bond research further shows that interactions between the two groups can reduce psychological stress on a biological level and increase oxytocin levels in the brain.
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