There’s no better excuse for adopting a pet than “it’ll help me a survive a pandemic.” I assume this is why my neighborhood has been infiltrated by puppies—no complaints here—and people are adopting kittens by the litter. And yet, sometimes getting an animal for a pet isn’t a realistic option for those who have no time for the responsibility or strict landlords. Don’t worry though: a new study out of the University of York suggests you can still reap the mental health benefits of animals without fully committing to pet parenthood.
The study included 6,000 participants, around 90 percent of whom were pet owners, and found that an overwhelming amount of the pet owners were comforted by their animal companion during lockdown. This totally makes sense. But what’s interesting is that the human-animal bond didn’t significantly change whether it was a dog or, well, something that can be contained