September 5, 2022

Dogs During the Pandemic, How Important Were They?

Our fluffy little buddies are one of our nearest and dearest. Why? A dog looks at its owner and feels one single emotion, love. They want nothing more from you than hugs, cuddles, and treats.

Your dog will stand by your side when you’re going through your worst, cozying up to you when you’re sad and rolled up. When you are excited, they wag their tails with pure glee only because they see that their owner is happy.

It is often said that we do not deserve dogs simply because there are few forms of love as pure. Anyone who has ever kept a dog will disagree.

Dogs Being the Best Pets

People keep all sorts of pets; dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, horses, cows, or birds. All of these animals have their own unique traits and personalities, but only a few match that of a dog. Horses make a pretty good case when it comes to demonstrating loyalty, but dogs simply win it by a mile.

According to data in the US, there was an 8% increase in the number of foster pets during the pandemic. This tells us just how much dogs can mean to most people. Adopting a pandemic dog was the norm; everyone was doing it, and it changed their entire lives.

You could be someone living alone or with your family, it doesn’t matter; there will come a time when you might feel like things are a little too uneventful or redundant.

The pandemic multiplied this feeling ten-fold.

Effects of Pandemic on Humans

COVID-19 has really changed the way that we live our lives now. Social distancing, masks, and quarantine, life is a lot different from what we had become used to. In the beginning, it was fun for a bit. Not having to go to school or the office, but as time went by, it really started to take its toll on everyone involved.

We began to realize that sitting at home for so long was not ideal. People began feeling confined, and this led to rampant depression, anxiety, and loneliness for a lot of people. People weren’t able to meet their loved ones, go out to eat or have a good time, or do any of the things that we often took for granted.

Now that things have calmed down a bit and life is returning back to normal, the effects of the pandemic still linger on. The after-effects of that time still exist and not everyone has been able to fully recover. Some people who got COVID still have trouble breathing, while others who lost a loved one to the virus are still coping with it.

How Dogs Have Helped Us

It comes as no surprise that our fluffy pals don’t need to do too much to make our lives better. For many people, it was dogs help during the pandemic that got them through it all.

According to research, dog owners have shown to be evidently different from non-owners. They showed to have a significantly lower depression score. Their bond with pets, in general, is much better, and they have shown to be more available for social support.

This makes sense when you consider how different life can be when you have a dog. They are a constant source of entertainment, all they want to do is play fetch and cuddle, and as a bonus, you also get someone that guards your home. You really cannot go wrong. Dogs and the pandemic were two things we never thought would be so intricately intertwined.

Being holed up for so many months meant that we actually learned just how important our pets are for us. We began to appreciate how they make our lives better even when we might be down and out. You could be having the worst possible day, but when you look at your dog staring at you with love and adoration, you forget the bad that is going on around you.

Our pets have been imperative for us during the pandemic. For those of us who had them around, consider yourselves lucky; not everyone was as blessed as you were.

However, this isn’t the entire picture.

The Toll That It Takes on The Animals

An animal is a living and breathing creature. It feels hunger, fatigue, pain, and also depression. Most people tend to overlook the fact that even dogs can get sad.

During the pandemic, our pets might have been our saving grace, but this was not at a cost. A dog needs its personal space and time, especially if it is a bigger breed like a Labrador Retriever or German shepherd.

These sorts of animals require exercise, a proper diet, and a place to regularly stretch their legs. During the pandemic, many people and their pets were confined to their homes. For larger dogs, not getting enough physical activity can cause them to develop different problems.

Just like humans, if a dog doesn’t get enough activity, it may become obese. They are only eating and not burning fat. Also, like humans, if a dog stays this way for a long time, it can develop ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, and also cancer.

Unlike humans, dogs can’t talk, so if they are going through something like this, the chances are you won’t find out until the condition worsens. You might be able to get the problem fixed if you catch it in time, but if the dog is made to live with this pain, it can be excruciating.

Furthermore, if you always surround your pet dog with negative emotions, the chances of it influencing them are very high. This isn’t a dog thing; it is just how these things work. If there is a consistently negative atmosphere, the chances of it affecting everyone in it are very high, be it a human or animal.

The pandemic did a number on us humans, but it also negatively impacted the dogs that we depended on for our emotional wellbeing.

by Bobby J Davidson

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