Many of us have dogs at home, and we take care of them like family members. It is like a best friend for many of us, and we try to share our pain and sorrows.
Research has shown that having a dog as the best companion has mental health benefits. Dr. Francois Martin, a researcher from Nestle Purina Research and author, said, “Dog owners reported having more social support significantly available to them compared to potential dog owners, and their depression scores were low.
Based on their review of 1,500 pet parents and potential dog owners, researchers found that a dog can provide social support across the U.S.
Researchers said, “There were no differences in anxiety and happiness scores between two groups. Dog owners had a more positive attitude towards their commitment to pets. Our results suggest that possessing dogs has perhaps given people a stronger sense of social support, which in turn may have helped to mitigate some of the negative psychological effects of COVID-19.”
Previous studies have highlighted how having a pet can improve mood, reduce loneliness, enhance social support and improve physical fitness. Ninety-one percent of dog owners said their dogs helped them manage their emotions, and 96 percent said their pets helped them with their exercise routine during quarantine.
Researchers wrote, ”Dog walking during confinements may have alleviated stressors and motivated self-care. However, recent studies have also reported that pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively affected people because of limited availability to resources.”
The researchers are interested in further investigating the relationship between animal owners and overall welfare.
They said, “Our results show that pet dog owners were significantly less depressed than non-pet owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.”