Many of those polled said their pet kept them active during lockdown and provided a routine.
Inews reports that dog owners have long espoused the therapeutic benefits of spending time with man’s best friend. Now a survey of British dog owners offers insight into the positive effect a canine companion can have on a person’s life during difficult times.
Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of long-term dog owners polled have said their pet was a “lifeline” during this year’s nationwide lockdown, while two in five (41 per cent) reported that their four-legged friend helped assuage their loneliness.
And, of the 2,622 owners polled in July, 36 per cent said having a dog by their side during the pandemic made them less anxious.
More comforting than humans
The vast majority of respondents (90 per cent) stated that their dog has had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing, the survey, conducted by the Kennel Club, found.
Many of those polled said their pet kept them active during lockdown and provided a routine, with more than a quarter stating that spending more time with their dog had been the best thing about that period.
The majority of people polled (61 per cent) said they found more comfort in their pet than in their fellow human beings, while 41 per cent claimed their dog doesn’t judge them “in the way humans can”.
Almost one in three (30 per cent) felt their dog was there for them when no one else was.
‘Best lockdown buddy I could have asked for’
Tracey Ison, 50, from Leicestershire, credits her dog Scout with helping her through a breakdown, to overcome anxiety and get her through lockdown.
“I had been in a very dark place, but forced myself every day to take Scout out for walks,” Ms Ison said.
“Scout has been a great support to me during lockdown…He gives me a reason to get up every morning and stick to a routine whilst I am furloughed from work,” she continued.
“He really is the best lockdown buddy I could have asked for.”
Through thick and thin
Commenting on the survey’s findings, Bill Lambert, a Kennel Club spokesman said: “For centuries, through thick and thin, dogs have provided us with unconditional love, loyalty and companionship without any judgment, and clearly that has a positive impact on our mental health.
“As we continue to face a global pandemic and the psychological stresses that brings with it, this unique support that dogs provide to their owners is now more important than ever.”
(Story source: Inews)