The behavioral and social condition of many individuals is a particular concern during the COVID-19 outbreak. The disruption to daily routines and the threat of serious casualties caused by COVID-19 have created a severe emotional strain on everyone. As people remain indoors, the demand for fostering or adopting pets has risen globally.
According to the COVID-19 Pulse Study by the American Pet Product Association, over 11.38 million U.S. households are living with pets during the pandemic. As pet ownership continues to grow, pet training services are also expected to rise in terms of revenue.
Since homeowners have to coinhabit with their furry friends at home, pet training became necessary to promote discipline. One example is the puppy training school that helps train dog behaviors, such as engagement and command.
As we dealt with the challenges brought by COVID-19, more people are considering pet ownership for an extra company at home. In reality, the health benefits of pet ownership can go beyond companionship, a slobbery greeting, or a good-natured nuzzle. If you don’t have a furry companion yet, this article will shed light on how pet ownership can benefit you and your family during the pandemic.
Pets provide comfort
Humans have an intrinsic desire to interact with animals and nature. Spending time with pets can potentially reduce stress and offer peace, serenity, contentment, and comfort.
Ever wonder why children love visiting farms and zoos? Seeing animals and interacting with them gives humans an opportunity for social connection. In a recent study about the benefits of pets in times of non-human contact, researchers state that human-pet relationships bridge the connection gap and physical intimacy when human contact is limited.
Even the act of viewing and sharing animal photos on social media affects our well-being. We love looking at adorable animals because they make us feel great. That’s why it feels good whenever our pets welcome us at home every time we come home from work.
Sharing your home with pets can also establish emotional bonds. The Attachment Theory explains secure attachment is critical for human development. In fact, researchers consider this theory as the “holy grail” among all psychological interventions. It covers a range of mental health issues, such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and other mental disorders.
In this regard, bonding serves as a vital factor in the survival strategy of human beings. Any form of a bond with pets creates unique connections and intimacy. Even simply looking at a dog’s eyes creates an emotional response by increasing the level of oxytocin, a “love hormone” associated with breastfeeding and childbirth. It also contributes to relationship building by promoting trust and empathy, which serve as essential factors in child-raising.
Pets provide certainty
Pet ownership involves taking part in routines, such as feeding, walking, and playing. Since the pandemic has caused interruptions in our daily lives (e.g., remote working and homeschooling), having pets encourages you to do certain routines.
Following a schedule with your pet reduces anxiety and fear. You can take long walks with your dog every morning, play catch in the afternoon, and teach them tricks before going to bed. This approach also reinforces and restores certainty and confidence. As a result, doing activities with pets promotes a structure that significantly affects a person’s well-being.
Aside from managing uncertainty, pets also contribute to psychological and physical well-being. Studies have shown that pet ownership increases our lifespan. The reason is that pets give owners a sense of purpose, belonging, and meaning.
Pets also minimize the adverse effects of stress. If you’re having a hard time working from home, pets can ease those burdens by reducing the physical effects of stress on the body. This can lead to reduced risks of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Pet ownership also requires a lot of sacrifices. This will teach family members to make necessary adjustments to fulfill the needs of a furry companion at home. As the bond grows, the family will soon treat the pet as an irreplaceable family member.
Pet ownership offers plenty of opportunities that go beyond companionship. Having at least one pet provides benefits in terms of overall health and well-being. While pets can mitigate the psychological effects of COVID-19, future pet owners need to understand that pet ownership requires a huge responsibility and commitment.