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How our pets have helped us through a global pandemic

by Ibtissam Bouseta December 30, 2020

How our pets have helped us through a global pandemic

Image Credit: MT-R / Shutterstock

 

   The year 2020 hasn’t been the most kind to us, with lockdowns being implemented, we had no choice but to significantly reduce our outdoor activities, so the living room table became the new office, work meetings and lectures were now conducted on video calls, family dinners and after work fun plans have became distant memories.

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Studies have reported that the number of adults experiencing depression in the U.S. has tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, thankfully for all the pet lovers out there, sharing a home with a pet appeared to act as a buffer against some psychological stress during these unprecedented times. While it’s been pretty well-documented that pets can help improve our overall health in normal circumstances, they have basically become our lifesavers during quarantine. Experts in the field have confirmed that having pets in the house is mitigating some of the physiological and physical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When many of us are forced to stay in our homes much more than usual, especially for those quarantining with kids - dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, birds, hamsters and other pets have taken on the mission to entertain the little ones while the parents can focus on their remote work. As for those who live alone, pets have proved to be the only source of physical companionship, and a vital source of motivation, joy and interaction for many days, weeks even. Not to forget about how pets, dogs especially, are dragging us out for that much needed walk as we start to accommodate an unhealthy lifestyle of becoming permanent home bodies.

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Pets have a magical power in keeping the house stress free, as it’s hard to think about the craziness outside when you have a cat purring on your lap or when your dog is jumping down demanding to play with him or rabbits, birds and hamsters want you to interact with them, pets don’t know anything is different, they still experience the same uninhibited joy, and they still need a routine. Which is also helpful in bringing back some degree of normalcy to our lives.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise to see an astonishing wave in adopting cats, dogs, and other companion pets during this last year. Many animal shelters have reported an increase in fostering and adoptions, from senior citizens to young people, whether it’s because of loneliness or finally having time to care for a pet, or simply because many people without pets have seen lockdown as an opportunity to bring one home.

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With the year coming to an end, it’s time to look back on everything we’ve been able to survive thanks to our dear pets, and aspire to continue to show gratitude and provide the most loving homes they deserve. 

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Ibtissam Bouseta
Ibtissam Bouseta


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