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Pets Boost Our Mental Health While We're Working From Home, Study Shows

Joanna Freedman

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Pets Boost Our Mental Health While We're Working From Home, Study Shows

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

We knew that animals had special powers, but now it's been discovered that having one around while working from home can actually improve your mental health.

Instead of their usual co-workers, in lockdown, many pet owners around the world are spending their days accompanied by their pooch, or feline friend.

And a study from Battersea Dogs and Cats home has revealed, besides being super cute, they've actually played key roles in helping us maintain routine, stay motivated and look after our mental wellbeing.

The study found that almost four in 10 of the 2,000 cat and dog owners surveyed admitted that having a pet with them during lockdown had helped them maintain a regular routine.

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It's no surprise this little cutie boosts morale (Credit: Unsplash)
It's no surprise this little cutie boosts morale (Credit: Unsplash)

More than half (58 per cent) said that having a pet with them while they work during lockdown has helped boost their productivity and motivation.

And 60 per cent said it has helped them out of bed in the morning.

Plus, one fifth (20 per cent) have shared lunch with their dog while 43 per cent say their pet has helped reduce their anxiety.

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Battersea ambassador David Gandy has spent lockdown with his beloved Battersea dog, Dora, as well his partner's mum's two rescue pooches.

He said: "Even though there have been frustrations with the necessary restrictions during lockdown, the dogs are blissfully oblivious to what is happening.

"They may indeed actually be enjoying it, with longer walks and more attention and playtime than ever before.

Does your pup join in your zoom calls? (Credit: Pexels)
Does your pup join in your zoom calls? (Credit: Pexels)
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"No matter where I am or what I'm doing, the three dogs are by my side, laying a head on my knee through hours of Zoom calls and helping me out in the land and garden from morning until night.

"Dogs provide us with so much and ask very little back, just a walk, some food and a cuddle.They are an integral part in our lives every day but especially the past few months.

"I've seen first-hand the amazing work Battersea do to find happy endings for their dogs and cats.

"Now they really need our support to make sure they can continue to do that vital work."

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The research also revealed how cats and dogs have helped their owners get an issue off their chest - with one in 10 moaning about a colleague to their furry friend.

Another 12 per cent have complained about their workload to their pet, and 13 per cent just enjoy having a natter about their work life in general.

Of course, for all their positives, pets can be distracting, too.

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Of all those interviewed, 66 per cent admitting they have taken cheeky breaks to spend some time playing with their cat or dog when they should be working (hey, we're not judging).

Pets can sometimes get in the way too! (Credit: Pexels)
Pets can sometimes get in the way too! (Credit: Pexels)

The research, carried out via OnePoll, coincides with Battersea's new advertising campaign, which seeks to examine the key role that rescue dogs and cats have played across the UK during quarantine.

Ali Taylor, Head of Canine Behaviour at Battersea, said: "We know there's evidence that owning a pet is good for mental health and tackling stress - and this is clearly really important at such a challenging time.

"We've heard so many amazing stories about how Battersea dogs and cats are now rescuing their owners - helping them feel less overwhelmed, distracting them from the news agenda and providing much-needed cuddles."

Battersea worked hard to assist more than 5,000 animals across its three centres last year, and has been a key voice in the fight to help thousands more.

To donate and help them help cats and dogs across the country, visit battersea.org.

Topics: Dog, Life News, Pets, Mental Health, Life, Animals, Cats

Joanna Freedman
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