How Pets Are Helping Us Through Stay-At-Home Orders

Pets show us unconditional love on a routine basis, a trait that has never been so important as now as we continue to hunker down due to stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times, though, they’ve also been bringing joy, easing anxiety and encouraging us to exercise, according to a new study by Michelson Found Animals Foundation (MFA).

For instance, 80 percent of pet owners said that their pet has brought them joy during the stay-at-home orders, 58 percent said that their pet has helped decrease their anxiety and 53 percent said that their pet has made them feel less alone while socially distancing. Further, the study revealed that 60 percent of respondents said that their pets have given them emotional support during stay-at-home orders and more than 40 percent said the silver lining of the given situation was getting to spend more time with their pet.

Other survey findings:

  • 25 percent of pet owners said that walking their dog is the main form of exercise they have gotten during stay-at-home orders.
  • Respondents would rather be with their pets (36 percent) than a family member (9 percent), friend (4 percent), kids (10 percent), a roommate (1 percent) or by themselves (3 percent). Significant others (37 percent) beat pets for the top spot by just 1 percent.
  • Pet owners would choose their pet (74 percent) over Netflix (54 percent), social media (42 percent), a good book (36 percent) or coffee (35 percent) during these times. (Respondents were able to select all that applied.)

Michelson Found Animals Foundation conducted the survey on Survey Monkey from May 4-5. It consisted of 827 pet owners.