September 29th

A new study out of the U.K. confirms what many pet owners already know about their furry friends. Relationships with pets are connected to better physical and mental well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

The study was conducted by University of York and University of Lincoln researchers. Of the 6,000 participants, about 90% had at least one pet. More than 90% of the survey respondents reported that their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown. Additionally, the vast majority – 96% – said their pet helped them stay physically active when things shut down.

The study indicated that the strength of the emotion bond between pets and their humans did not differ by animal species. Scientists who conducted the study say results indicate that having a pet in your home can provide a (cuddly) cushion against the stress of the pandemic.

Cardinal on deck

Researchers also quizzed participants about their most popular interaction with animals that were not pets. Watching and feeding birds in the garden topped the list at 55%. It’s just one more reason to be purposeful when managing the living landscapes in your yard so they support biodiversity and wildlife.

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