Researchers at the Centre for the Human-Animal Bond in Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, USA, say pets can provide a source of social support during stressful times.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing people all over the world to practice social distancing and stay home – but some of their housemates might be making the transition easier: their pets.
Researchers at the Centre for the Human-Animal Bond in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine say pets can provide a source of social support during stressful times and that interacting with companion animals can provide stress relief that can be measured biologically. For example, a recent study showed how service dogs can have measurable positive effects on the health and well-being of individuals with physical disabilities.
Maggie O’Haire, associate professor of human-animal interaction in the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, is leading research that reveals the science behind how companion animals support humans.
"During a time when many people are practicing social distancing from their human support networks, animal companionship may be an increasingly important source of social support,” O’Haire says. “Evidence from the field of human-animal interaction highlights the often profound capacity of pets to provide interaction, joy and comfort."
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free.