Source: Photo by Dmitry Naumov/123 RF
In response to the social isolation associated with COVID-19, lots of people are taking the advice of those like fellow Psychology Today blogger Catherine Sanderson, who described “5 Great Reasons to Adopt a Dog During The Pandemic.” Animal shelters all over the United States have experienced a run on adoptions of dogs and cats. In April, for example, Chicago’s Animal Care and Control shelter completely ran out of adoptable animals for the first time.
But is there solid evidence that getting a pet will actually cure the COVID blues? Months ago researchers who study human-animal interactions began posting online questionnaires to answer this question. In June, a group of researchers reported that 70% of the 4,000 dog owners they surveyed agreed their pets helped them cope with loneliness and depression caused by the pandemic. The participants also reported increases in positive emotions such as