How the Coronavirus is Strengthening the Human-Animal Bond
One could make the argument that pets are the only ones benefitting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Reports suggest that pets are not at risk to catch the disease and, as humans are stuck in their houses all day, it means companion animals are being showered with ample amounts of attention.
With mandatory social distancing in effect and most businesses shut down, stir-crazy humans are leashing up their dogs and taking them on long walks to get a change of scenery and some exercise. As people are advised to remain in their homes, self-isolation can get extremely lonely, especially for those who find themselves hunkering down without family or friends. It’s a dangerous breeding ground for feelings of depression to come in, but a recent study by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Mars Petcare revealed that 80 percent of people reported that pets reduced their loneliness, and 75 percent agreed that pets reduced feeling of social isolation.
Mental (and physical!) health benefits aside, falling into a daily routine with a pet can give humans back some semblance of normalcy. As everyone has been thrown for a loop and forced to adjust to a new routine, structuring days around a pet’s feeding, playing and walking schedules can help keep humans on track. The effects of this bonding will outlast the disease, too—some research suggests it only takes 66 days to create a habit and if predictions are correct, social distancing is going to be the new normal for the next couple months.
And as the bond between people and their pets strengthens, the retail pet industry will be there to help care for the loyal animal companions that are playing such an important role in getting us through this difficult time—like always.