Pups Prove to be Lifesavers During Lockdown

February 19, 2021

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Buffalo, NY - The benefits of dog ownership on our health and well-being were well-documented prior to the emergence of Covid-19.  Now, these pups proved to be lifesavers for many during lockdown. 

According to Christy Hoffman, PhD, our four-legged friends played an important role in providing their owners with social and mental health support at an unprecedented time.  Not only does their companionship help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, their overall relaxing effect “buffers stress levels and reduces anxiety,” explained Hoffman, director of the Canisius anthropology program and associate professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation (ABEC).

Earlier research by Hoffman also demonstrated that dogs help people (specifically women) sleep better, “which may be particularly beneficial during the pandemic.”  Dogs also keep their owners active, demanding daily walks.  Such physical activity was “especially crucial at a time when gyms were closed,” noted Hoffman. 

Make no mistake, the benefits of being home went both ways.   

“It is probably safe to say that dogs have waited their entire lives for the chance to spend so much time with their humans.”

Hoffman’s insight on the impact of Covid-19 on human-dog relationships was published by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and Companion Animal Psychology.