There has been a significant uptick in pet adoption as per the information given by the pet shelters and rescue agencies. During the Covid-19 period, many people in the United States of America adopted pets, either cats or dogs, among others pets to act as a companion during the pandemic. However, it has been noted that these friends are being returned to their homes after the end of the pandemic. Cats and dogs are among pets easily domesticated in the United States of America. Following the WHO announces the lockdown proceeding the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a reinforcement on people to work from home, unemployment, and social distancing. A lot of time was spent at home, which prompted an increased adoption of cats and dogs. Animal shelters in the United States of America and the United Kingdom have experienced emptiness due to the increased adoption (Ho, Hussain & Sparagano, 444). However, amidst the pandemic, there have been reports of abandonment of the pets due to the rumors that they are likely to spread the virus. Also, there has been an increase in stray cats and dogs after the Covid-19 pandemic ended. (Ho, Hussain & Sparagano, 444). This essay will expound on the support that pets give to people mentally and psychologically, pet adoption during and after covid-19.
Adopting and owning a pet is often associated with tremendous and improved mental health. These reduce stress and depression and enhance the quality of life. Among the advantages associated with pets for mental uses, pets can give up to ten reasons why they should be encouraged, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pets, especially dogs and cats, contribute to stability to mental health by providing unconditional love to their owners. Pets are known to love without ceasing. They don’t judge. Unlike human beings, they are always in a happy mood, especially when with their owners. Mostly, pets like dogs are always loyal and love spending time with their owners. This love is probably unconditional and vital for mental health and is, therefore, aids the release of dopamine by the brain. This is a pleasure-sensing chemical.
Pets contribute to social support and connection. During the covid-19 pandemic, some rules and regulations prevented humans from connecting socially. However, pets were the only source of social relationships among adults and teens. Social anxiety is quickly released because pets always provide a topic for social discussion. This shows that pets like dogs, ducks, and cats are counter social isolation. Therefore, it is a sure deal to say that pets help improve mental health among their owners due to their social connection. Social connection is essential in ensuring an enhanced cognitive function. People can develop feelings of trust and empathy, emotions can be regulated, provides an optimistic outlook, and people’s self-esteem is drastically improved. There are lowered rates of depression and anxiety. This is a surety that pets contribute to mental health.
During the Covid-19 period, pets were essential in building relationship skills among the owners’ families. Case studies and research show that children are likely to maintain good relationships among themselves if they have a mental relationship with their pets. Kids’ cognitive development can echo from dogs as they quickly follow human cues. Dog’s essential makes life easy through socializing. A study showed that children with autism could be helped to develop social relationships when they keep pets like guinea pigs. Teens who interact with horses as pets build meaningful personal relationships. These relationships developed from pets can be transferred into good relationships with family and friends (Janette et al.25-33).
To continue, pets help in mental health by building healthy living, and this is through the fact that pets need to be taken care of daily. This routine results in developing healthy habits. The physical activity involved in taking care of pets, for instance, walking, hiking, and running, is essential to the owner who benefits from the exercise. Outdoor exercise during nature walking pets is also suitable for mental health. The fact that pets need feeding very early and on a regular schedule makes the owner master the art of waking up early and starting the day. Lastly, pets help people in developing self-care practices. For instance, horses, cats, dogs, and pigs need regular grooming to ensure that they transfer the same to their self-care. Therefore, pets support psychological and mental health (Janette et al.25-33).
Pets contribute to mental and psychological health, and they help one recover from mental illness. For instance, during the Covid-19, people infected with the virus developed mental stress and depression. Adoption of a pet at that particular time is essential in recovery. According to a meta-analysis from a medical database, pets are critical in ensuring mental health among people. Looking closely at those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia, 60% said that pets helped them recover. Most of the time, pets help people with distractions from hallucinations, suicidal thinking, and rumination. Psychologically, pets provide support unconditionally, especially to people who don’t receive it from other people from their families and friends. It is, therefore, reasonable to incorporate pets into the daily routines of patients battling psychological and mental problems (Aviva et al., 11-128).
Pets are essential in increasing people’s well-being as well as self-esteem. According to Psychologists at Saint Louis University and Miami University, their research suggested the importance of pets to pet owners. These reasons are; that they cannot feel lonely, people feel preoccupied and more conscientious, they are also physically fit, improved self-esteem, are more extroverted, and less fearful. Therefore, it is evident that pets, especially cats and dogs, are essential in ensuring that the owners are fit psychologically and emotionally (Phillipou et al., 423-426).
The last aspect is the power of animal-assisted therapy amongst mental and psychological patients. There is an excellent connection between mental health and pets. Animal-assisted therapy programs are essential in treating patients with health problems. Therapies like Equine Assisted Therapy have been used since the 1990s to aid teen-related mental programs. A horse connection among human beings aids in mental health treatment. This is done through a direct experience that is non-verbal and powerful (Phillipou et al., 423-426).
Pets were essential during the coronavirus pandemic; up to 23 million Americans adopted pets after the Covid-19 lockdown on March 2020; after the WHO declared lockdown, most citizens in the world did not know what to do with heightened rules on lockdown, social gatherings, etc. most of them saw the need to adopt at least a pet to take the position of human beings. The adoption of pets, especially dogs and cats, surged at the beginning of the pandemic; however, this was not sustained during the pandemic (Ho, Hussain & Sparagano, 444). There were speculations that these pets would contribute to the spread of the vaccine, and the fact that many people had lost their income and feeding and maintaining these pets became a problem. Many people in the United States of America resorted to abandoning these visitors. On the brighter side, the coming of Covid-19 came with a lot of negative impacts. Many people were affected mentally, economically, physically, and psychologically. Social distancing inhibited people from socializing, and losing jobs led to mental and psychological trauma. The pets, therefore, were there to take the position of the company. They aided in the healing of those affected by the virus, reduced stress, and depression, a feeling of love was ensured, pets helped in an increased sense of responsibility, and healthy routines were incorporated. As much as pets were abandoned along the way, they served a great purpose to the American community when social distancing was highly prohibited (Aviva et al., 11-128).
Many pet rescuers and shelters saw a significant increase in the adoption of pets at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many uphold the good homes offered to the animals. However, at the end of the pandemic, that is mid-2021, many adoptees are either returning the pets to their homes or abandoning them all over. When there are changes in any aspect of life, pets are always the victim of change; for instance, the relinquishing of the Covid-19 protocol made pets an item of change as people were returning to their everyday lives, and they found no need to harbor pets again. There have been an increased number of stray cats and dogs on the streets. In Los Angeles and New York City, an increased number of pets returned and dumped after the Covid-19 pandemic ended.” We have received up to ten inquiries per month of people who can’t take care of the pets anymore and would love to return them to the shelters.” After Covid-19, shelters for the pets have flooded, and pet sitters are going through a lot, taking care of overwhelming numbers. This is to conclude that people were only interested in pets, especially dogs and cats, for what they were to gain during the pandemic.
To conclude, During the Covid-19 period, many people in the United States of America adopted pets, either cats or dogs, to act as a companion for the pandemic. However, it has been noted that these friends are being returned to their homes after the end of the pandemic. Cats and dogs are among pets easily domesticated in the United States of America. Following the WHO announces the lockdown proceeding the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a reinforcement on people to work from home, unemployment, and social distancing. However, pets are essential in the life of human beings, not just to be used during pandemics but during their entire lives. For instance, pets have many advantages than disadvantages when adopted. They help lower stress hormones, reduce stress, diminish childhood anxiety, make pets feel wanted, and increase well-being and self-esteem by adopting pets. Pets are vital in the recovery of mentally ill patients. Health habits can be built by taking care of pets, relationship skills can be built quickly from an early age, social connectedness, and unconditional love.