Our pets are our best friends, there’s no doubt about that. There’s nothing like having a pet by our side, especially during the challenging times we’re in.
Pets help humans feel better in times of stress
We know pets have a positive impact on humans in times of stress, and scientists have actually linked the release of oxytocin to human interactions with dogs. Think about the feeling you got the last time you looked into your dog’s eyes. What you felt was most likely oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. With so many people practicing social distancing, it seems like we could all use a little more of that loving feeling. Staring into our pets’ eyes is not the only thing that releases oxytocin, simple acts like petting, hugging and taking our dogs for walks release oxytocin, too.
Keeping pets active may also keep us healthy
Think of your pet as your new workout buddy. They need exercise, just like you! By taking your dog for a walk, you are giving them the exercise they need but you are also helping yourself. Try to get outside because it’s good for you and your four-legged friend. Just remember to keep your dog on a leash at all times, stay the recommended three to six feet away from others and avoid unnecessary interactions with others while you’re out.
Cats need exercise, too! Now that you may be home more with your cat, have fun with them by introducing new games or toys. Routines and schedules are a great way to ensure you and your pets are getting the appropriate amount of exercise.
Pets provide companionship
Pets also create a very important sense of companionship and purpose, helping many of us feel less isolated as we adapt to a new remote working routine.
As you adapt, you may actually feel a sense of relief having a pet as your ‘co-worker’ and companion. And, think of how exciting it must be for your pet that they get to spend so much more time with you than usual. Having a pet also helps you stick to a schedule; they still need to be fed in the morning and at night and let out throughout the day, all while you’re developing a new routine. They will adjust to your new routine quickly and are counting on you to keep the combined schedule running smoothly.
How to handle quarantine life with your pet
If you’re currently quarantined with your pet, or get word that you will be, our pet expert friends at Fear Free recommend the following:
- Stock up on necessities, like pet food and medication, that will last two to three weeks.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after playing with your cat or dog.
- Keep up with the latest advisories and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the World Health Organiztion and your state and local public health department.
- Don’t abandon your companion animals – they need you as much as you need them right now.
- If you do need to visit the vet, be sure to call ahead to make sure they’re open. You should also ask if they have any special procedures in place.
For more information on pets and the coronavirus, you can read more here
How to help pets in need
If you’re considering adopting a pet or providing a foster home while a pet waits for its forever home, now is a good time to help. Shelters across the country are facing difficult decisions and challenges with fewer volunteers and staff, minimal foot traffic and canceled events and fundraisers impacting their usual ways of operating. As shelters become overcrowded and look for new ways to encourage adoption, it’s up to us to step in and do what we can to help.
BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation® and its mission to help end pet homelessness. It’s holding emergency Empty the Shelters relief efforts is several states nationwide. For just a $25 adoption fee, you can help save a pet’s life. Keeping social distancing top of mind, adoptions will be held by appointment only.
“Shelters need our help and now is a perfect time to consider bringing a pet into your home, if you’re able to,” says Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “However, it’s important to remember that adopting a pet during this time, and anytime for that matter, is a forever choice and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
If you are not quite ready to adopt, you can still help shelters by fostering or donating to BISSELL Pet Foundation to help them continue their lifesaving work. For live updates and to learn what they are doing now, follow them on Facebook and Instagram