Dogs a Boost to Lockdown Survival

Press/Media: Article/Feature

Description

Dogs can beg an extra treat for
this trick: a new study shows dogs
are better than cats at protecting
against loneliness, stress and depression
during lockdown.
A Monash University study,
published in the Journal of Social
Psychiatry, has confirmed the
benefits of a furry friend to fight
the lockdown blues.
The online survey of 384 people
had participants evaluate
their levels of loneliness, mindfulness
and mood, with cat and
dog owners also measuring their
pet interactions and questions
about how being a pet owner
affected their experience of
COVID-19 and how COVID-19
affected their pet.
Lead researcher Jessica Olivia
said being a dog owner seemed to
produce significantly lower levels
of loneliness, as well as higher
mindfulness, compared to cats
and non-pet owners.
She said dog owners had a
common theme of getting out
more to exercise because of their
pet and also a sense they were entitled
to go out to exercise. “The
other theme is an opportunity to
socialise with other people doing
the same thing,” she said.
“It may be that the same opportunities
are not afforded to cat
or non-pet owners.”
Dr Olivia said dogs provided
an excuse for people to stop and
say g’day but they shouldn’t be
relied on for a person’s health and
wellbeing. “The decision to get a
dog or a cat or not should be
based on a well-thought-out decision
to care for it for it’s lifetime,
not for the duration of the lockdown,”
she said.
During lockdown, Mel Accorso
said she had been enjoying the
company of 10-month-old Irish
wolfhound cross bull arab Clyde,
inside the home and outside on
walks in the park or by the beach.
“He’s been a blessing, he rescued
us,” she said. “We rescued
him in April and we’re so lucky to
have him … we’ve taken time to
train him and have put so much
time and energy into him.”
Ms Accorso said a dog forced
owners to go outside during lockdown
and made a walk “way
more fun … It’s such a good conversation
starter — whenever
someone walks by him, you can
start talking with them.”
Lost Dogs Home spokeswoman
Suzana Talevski said families,
couples and individuals were
spending more time at home during
lockdown, offering plenty of
opportunities to bond and train
with a new dog, but “just as pets
are not just for Christmas, they
are not just for isolation either”.

Period12 Aug 2020

Media coverage

1

Media coverage

  • TitleDogs a Boost to Lockdown Survival
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletThe Australian Newspaper
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date12/08/20
    DescriptionDogs can beg an extra treat for this trick: a new study shows dogs are better than cats at protecting against loneliness, stress and depression during lockdown. A Monash University study, published in the Journal of Social Psychiatry, has confirmed the benefits of a furry friend to fight the lockdown blues. The online survey of 384 people had participants evaluate their levels of loneliness, mindfulness and mood, with cat and dog owners also measuring their pet interactions and questions about how being a pet owner affected their experience of COVID-19 and how COVID-19 affected their pet.
    Lead researcher Jessica Olivia said being a dog owner seemed to produce significantly lower levels of loneliness, as well as higher mindfulness, compared to cats and non-pet owners.
    She said dog owners had a common theme of getting out
    more to exercise because of their pet and also a sense they were entitled to go out to exercise. “The other theme is an opportunity to socialise with other people doing the same thing,” she said. “It may be that the same opportunities are not afforded to cat or non-pet owners.” Dr Olivia said dogs provided an excuse for people to stop and say g’day but they shouldn’t be relied on for a person’s health and wellbeing. “The decision to get a dog or a cat or not should be based on a well-thought-out decision to care for it for it’s lifetime, not for the duration of the lockdown,” she said. During lockdown, Mel Accorso said she had been enjoying the company of 10-month-old Irish wolfhound cross bull arab Clyde, inside the home and outside on walks in the park or by the beach.
    “He’s been a blessing, he rescued us,” she said. “We rescued
    him in April and we’re so lucky to have him … we’ve taken time to train him and have put so much time and energy into him.”
    Ms Accorso said a dog forced owners to go outside during lockdown and made a walk “way more fun … It’s such a good conversation starter — whenever someone walks by him, you can start talking with them.” Lost Dogs Home spokeswoman
    Suzana Talevski said families, couples and individuals were
    spending more time at home during lockdown, offering plenty of opportunities to bond and train with a new dog, but “just as pets are not just for Christmas, they are not just for isolation either”.
    Producer/AuthorTessa Akerman
    PersonsJessica Oliva