Pets have helped our mental health in lockdown, study reveals

Over half of pet owners say that despite the Covid-19 situation, their mental wellbeing is surprisingly positive, according to research.

The research, which is released to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May) reveals that 43% of pet owners put their positive mental wellbeing down to spending time with their pets.

With the nation continuing to spend more time at home than ever, pet owners have noticed a positive difference in their furry friends’ demeanour and general happiness too.

Whilst 58% of cats seem to be finding the increased attention more difficult, two thirds of pet owners say their dogs have been much happier since the UK began lockdown.

Despite this, there are rising concerns about how pets might cope when life eventually goes back to normal, with almost a third (32%) of pet owners saying they are worried their pet may suffer from separation problems once lockdown is lifted further.

According to the research of over 1,000 UK dog and cat owners, commissioned by raw and natural pet food expert Natures Menu, over two thirds of dog and cat owners admit they’re giving their pets more attention since lockdown began on 23rd March, with dogs, 70% getting more attention than cats, 63%.

Over half of dog and cat owners have also found creative ways of spending time and combatting lockdown boredom with their pets during self-isolation, including trying new food, 23%, getting family, friends and colleagues to speak to their pet on video calls, 19% and teaching them new tricks, 17%.

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager at Natures Menu, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week is sure to open up conversations on the nation’s mental state due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s really positive to see the real impact pets are having on our wellbeing and how our ability to spend quality time with them has greatly improved due to the current situation. It’s long been proven that spending time with pets can increase our endorphins – pets really do make us feel better, and they deserve to be looked after too.”

To find out more about Natures Menu and to order for convenient direct-to-door delivery, visit www.naturesmenu.co.uk.