Pet Pick-Me-Up

The homebound life is a lot more enjoyable when you have a pet to care for.


photo by Natalie Mudd

Natalie Mudd, Staff Writer

While stuck at home these past couple of months, citizens have been pushed into the unavoidable positions of either experiencing never-ending, uninterrupted time with their entire families or a lonely banishment with a limited household of only their own company. Luckily, some have gotten to enjoy the company of their pets – an actually bearable family member – much more often than usual.

Without a doubt, if the world’s residents are forced to stay home, it’s better to suffer alongside a fluffy friend. Nearly 60% of U.S. households own one or more pet and recently, scientists believe that it is a benefit to have a pet during the quarantine.

Animals tend to make sure people stay focused and take breaks. Even five seconds taken to pet a dog or cat or bird helps the human brain reset and refresh. People who take breaks are more productive and happier with their job. During this period when happiness is hard to find, finding enjoyment in a job that occupies the majority of your time is essential. Pets help provide that excuse to step away from the computer screen for a necessary moment. In a time where everything feels monotonous, pets help people take a step back and relax. Whether it be taking a cute picture or stopping a sandwich thief, pets add the desired variety to the day that people crave and help entertain their owners.

Along with this, pets add much-needed companionship and aid in coping with the loss of social interactions. Pets offer unconditional love to all good owners and that can be exactly what people need right now. Studies have shown that pets have a positive impact on the mental states of their owners. Quarantine exacerbates conditions like depression and anxiety, both of which have been proven to improve in the presence of an animal. Pet owners in general lead longer, healthier lives. In one of the most stressful times of people’s lives, pets are one of the most effective solutions providing important stress relief.

In addition to their companionship, it has been proven that pets can sense melancholy or unhappiness in the people around them. Both cats and dogs are known to recognize human facial expressions and react accordingly by trying to make their owners feel better.

They also have the ability to pick up on people’s moods based on scents and attempt to help them improve their mood. When facing a sad owner, cats generally purr (purring occurs at a frequency that lowers stress, improves breathing, lowers blood pressure, heals bones or muscles, and has numerous other benefits that humans can enjoy if they are near a purring cat) and dogs lick people’s face to show their affection or, in other words, that they are there for their human.

Not only can pets gauge people’s mental state by sight and smell, but they can also pick up on vocal cues and recognize their owner’s voice. Basically, pets always know when their human owner is feeling down, sometimes before even another person notices and do their best to cheer them up. Pets are the friends every person dreams of having.

So, during a tough time where no end seems to be in sight, don’t worry because pets have our backs. Give them a nice hug or gentle pet and see if you don’t feel better. More than anything, enjoy your fluffy friend’s company and relax.