Human communication is an essential element for a healthy, happy life, but when the epidemic forces you into your home; it is not so easy to come. A new study published in the Ethical Journal of Behavioral Economics found that there was a savior for some of us in these difficult times: our pets.
The study interviewed 32 pet owners and their results showed that 90% of these 90 pets are a source of comfort and relaxation. The relationship is not always passive, as many spoke only of their “pet’s” innate abilities when their human needed some TLC. Whether real or perceived, responses reassure owners that they feel sad, sorry, or hurt. The positive association not only excludes dogs and cats but also mediates birds, sheep, horses, and reptiles that have reciprocated their touch as a source of comfort.
The cocktail of lockdown, unemployment, and social isolation is hard to swallow and so, who better to curl up on the sofa than a warm, purring cat or a cheerful, fluffy dog? Led by Dr. Janet Young, the new study highlights how pets play an important role in protecting their owners from the life-threatening reality of social isolation.
“Pets seem to be especially important when people are socially isolated or deprived, providing comfort, companionship, and self-worth.” “The response we’ve received is that pets themselves enjoy just as much human-to-human interaction,” Young said in a statement.
“Humans have an innate need to connect with others, but the lack of human touch helps pets fill this void. So they need to be considered from a policy angle, to help alleviate the emotional and physical stress that people are facing at this time. “
If pet ownership is not an option for you, there is always plenty of wildlife to make it interesting with the help of simple bird feeders on rats and squirrels, ranging from native and migratory birds (see this physicist’s effort on squirrel-proof feeders). Depending on where you are you can even attract some more foreign things. As well as helping us feel less isolated, this study found that pet dogs will try to rescue their owners if they know-how.