Jessica Wolfgang ’25, Staff Writer

The world has faced and continually battled the ever-persistent coronavirus.
The demands of the government to combat this world problem has left people getting locked in
for a couple of months, quarantining when sick, losing contact with those around them, and the list
goes on and on. Right now, there have been new demands of multiple booster vaccines that have left
people’s minds spinning with thoughts of what could happen next to humanity. Will we need
more boosters? Will we need more Lockdowns? When will this virus just stop? To combat this
mental head-spinning issue every day, citizens have resorted to man’s best friends: pets.

Source: BBC

According to BBC News, they claim “a total of 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic.” This epic boom is certainly no surprise nor is it just present within the UK. In fact, local veterinarians are having a tough time with the present surge in pets. Dr. Liz Ruelle in a news article from CBC news, remarks that she is “now facing backlogs of annual exams.” One can assume turning to dogs, cats, hamsters, you name it, is the new solution for coping with the pandemic.

It is a no-brainer that these cute, adorable, lovable, things we call pets, make us happy. But how do they really affect us? In a report from Chopra, there are 7 known benefits of owning a companion. One can relieve their stress, be more physically active, have better heart health, fight allergies, promote social interaction, improve emotional health, and keep one present in the moment all by owning a pet. In terms of heart and physical overall benefit, “dog ownership, in particular, may reduce cardiovascular risk, likely as a result of owners walking their pets more often than non-dog owners,” as reported by the American Heart Association. For allergies, a study in 2011 by Clinical & Experimental Allergy, kids who grew up with animals as infants were seen to have fewer problems in terms of allergies. All of these are great effects and benefits of owning a companion. Nevertheless, I believe the sole reason for the boom in pets is due to the “mental boosters” they provide. 

When one owns a companion, they become engrossed in their adorable lives and the fact they have something to look forward to after a long day. In fact, a study done in 2011 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “researchers found pet owners to have higher self-esteem, be more extraverted and less lonely, be less preoccupied, and be less fearful of everyday life challenges.” For pet owners to receive such qualities from simply owning a pet, there Is hope at the end of the tunnel in correlation with mentally handling the new coronavirus challenges. 

Cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, and other creatures all can provide us with a hopeful outlook on life. Having a companion that you love and care for will help aid you in the task of daily life challenges. Nevertheless, always make sure you are able and ready to provide benefits for them: your love, your care, your compassion, and your ever-constant attention.