COVID-19 pandemic made shelters, rescues, and breeders experience increased demand as Americans try to fill voids in their changed lives with canine companions. Those who couldn’t adopt a dog because they were at work all day have changed their mind due to lockdown restrictions and work-from-home measures.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly brought many bad things upon people worldwide, including uncertainty and severe health and economic concerns. But, if there’s one good thing that the ongoing has brought into our lives, that’s more dogs in families across the world.
After months of lockdown, which forced many people to spend quite long alone-time at their homes, people realized that dogs really are a man’s best friend. For this season, animal shelters and breeders across the nation reported high demand for adopting dogs.
Human-dog relationship during the pandemic
Dogs bring a lot of joy into our lives. Pet owners already know that. You simply can resist your dog’s wagging tail, their surprise kisses in the morning, and their constant desire to see you happy, which is why they tend to do a lot of goofy things to get your attention.
But, even those who didn’t own a dog at the beginning of last year and had no idea what joy having a pet can bring found out as the pandemic brought several changes into their day-to-day lives.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought many restrictions on our lives, including lockdown, which got people to spend a lot of time alone. For those who are living alone, particularly, the lockdown was really difficult—some experienced feelings of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
But you can’t be sad for too long when there’s a lovely dog in the house seeking your affection and attention. For this reason, people started to try to fill these voids by adopting shelter dogs or buying their favorite breed dogs, be it Golden Retriever, German Shepard, or Goldendoodle, you name it.
Pet ownership benefits
How getting a dog can help people deal with the pandemic more easily? Well, it’s science that says pet ownership has plenty of health benefits, including managing loneliness and depression, two emotions many people felt during the pandemic.
Several previous studies have suggested that pets, especially dogs, can improve our health, both mental and physical health. Dogs get people out walking, which is good for their heart, contributing to decreased blood pressure and decreased cholesterol levels. They keep us active, which helps maintain the ideal body weight.
They also help improve emotional well-being, reducing anxiety, stress, and even sadness. And, for these reasons, it’s no surprise that dogs have been pivotal for many people around the world, helping their owners cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and all its implications.
Our four-legged friends help us manage negative emotions like loneliness or isolation by simply giving us companionship. What’s more, pet ownership can also improve social life. Something as simple as walking your dog in the park or simply posting a photo of your pet on social media can help you meet people, other animal lovers.
And, on top of it all, pet ownership is like stress therapy. Many studies have found that spending just a few minutes with a pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine. So, when the pandemic makes us stress, our dogs can help us relax and let go of negative thoughts.