It has been a tough year for so many people and animals amid the coronavirus pandemic. But thanks to our animal companions, the burden of isolation and loneliness seems to be lighter each day.

In a survey conducted by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, 85 percent of people said their companion animals helped reduced loneliness and 76 percent agreed human-animal interactions can help address social isolation. Most people are now turning for their furry pals for comfort and companionship.

Here’s a simple reminder that animals are more than just that, they are part of the family and provide so many benefits.

1. They provide stress relief.

More people these days are experiencing daily stressors brought about by the pandemic. Research shows that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure and help manage anxiety and depression.

2. They provide comfort.

Animal companions can soothe people in times of trial. In 2020, Mars Petcare and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt collaborated together to bring Squid, an assistance dog, to the hospital and comfort patients, their families, and hospital staff that are currently experiencing intense medical situations.

3. They help in healing.

Research has shown the power of pets and their healing benefits. One study showed that veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms improved their physiological stress indicators and have lower levels of PTSD symptoms after walking and bonding with shelter dogs.

4. They combat loneliness.

It has been difficult to spend time with family and friends during this pandemic, but animal companions help combat the sense of isolation among their hoomans. A study coducted by HABRI and Mars Petcare shows 80 percent of pet owners said their companions made them feel less lonely, and 89 percent who got a companion animal for their loneliness, felt their furry animals helped them cope and feel less lonely.

You might want to read:
– This is how emotional support animals help improve humans’ mental health
– Survey shows pet owners are paying attention to their companion animals’ health than their own
– Humane Society shares tips for pet owners to keep their animal companions safe and healthy during COVID-19 pandemic