Having a Pet During Quarantine Can Help You Keep a Healthy Routine, According to a New Study

published Aug 13, 2020
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Whether you recently adopted a pet or already had furry friends before the pandemic, you’re probably loving having something to snuggle and play with at all hours of the day. But for Gen Zers and millennials, having pets during the pandemic has actually been a serious source of self-care, according to a new study.

The team at Fullscreen, a social media content company that works with brands and influencers, surveyed people who are 18-37, with 62% of respondents sharing that they’re stressed over losing their regular routines due to the effects of the growing pandemic. But having a pet seems to be both motivating and grounding for plenty of young people, with 64% saying that having a pet to take care of has helped them feel like they have a “meaningful routine,” and 61% of pet owners agreeing that having a pet helps them “stay present and less worried about the future.”

It seems the distraction and comfort of having a four-legged pal around is a crucial part of well-being, with 58% of participants admitting that they don’t know what they would do without their pets during this time, and 68% sharing that living with a pet helps them feel less alone.

It turns out that 67% of pet owners feel that caring for their pets gives them a “higher purpose”. Many noted that adopting an animal or caring for the pet of a friend or family member who no longer can creates a “positive impact on the world” for them, especially since many are experiencing job loss or extra time working at home indefinitely.

And it seems like pets serve as best friends now more than ever: 72% of owners shared that they feel an emotional connection to their dog or cat, with 90% believing that animals provide emotional support. And though caring for a pet admittedly involves a lot of time, training, and energy, 81% feel that caring for a pet serves as a form of self-care, too.

Of course, the health benefits of having a pet are well-proven, too, with 65% of respondents in this study sharing that their pets have helped their mental health during shelter-in-place orders, and 54% feeling that they’re healthier due to their pets, no doubt thanks to the walking and playing involved.

As Brooklyn-based dog owner Sabrina shared, “Keeping up her routine, getting outside 4-5 times a day, and focusing on something other than myself has been really refreshing.” Brooklyn-based cat owner Drew summed it up pretty nicely, noting: “I often think about how they have no knowledge of all the chaos going on in the world, and it’s a nice escape.”

So if you’ve been searching for an excuse to finally take the leap into pet-parenting, this survey gives you plenty. And with self-care and wellness being top priorities these days, what better time than now?