Dogs Are ‘Significantly’ Boosting People’s Mental Health During The Pandemic, According To A New Study

In a new study that most dog lovers can probably confirm, owning a canine companion has been shown to “significantly” improve mental health during the pandemic. The survey polled current dog owners and potential dog owners, and what it found is that the current owners were less likely to be depressed and had a more positive outlook while navigating COVID restrictions.

“Dog owners reported having significantly more social support available to them compared to potential dog owners, and their depression scores were also lower, compared to potential dog owners,” according to Dr. Francois Martin of Nestle Purina Research. Via Study Finds:

“Dog owners had a significantly more positive attitude towards and commitment to pets. Taken together, our results suggest that dog ownership may have provided people with a stronger sense of social support, which in turn may have helped buffer some of the negative psychological impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers report.

The report also cited dog walking as a stress-reliever and a source of “motivated self-care” as new variants of the coronavirus continue to prolong restrictions such as social distancing and remote work/schooling, which can be mentally taxing to navigate. But with a canine buddy creating the need to step away for a trip around the block, we can definitely see how having a dog around can be the self-care push people need during these unusual times. Plus, dogs are great to snuggle with while watching Netflix. That’s gotta be a factor, too.

(Via Study Finds)