KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON: Pets are Helping the Nation De-Stress During the Lockdown

  • Most pet owners (87%) find their pets keep them calm during stressful situations.
  • However, over two thirds of pet owners (69%) also find their pets distract them when trying to focus on other tasks.
  • Labrador Retriever dogs and British Shorthair cats named the most comforting pets.

Pets up and down the country are helping their owners deal with the current stressful situation, according to new research from National Accident Helpline.

The study, which polled 2,000, asked the public how much they rely on their furry friends to keep them calm, but also if their cuteness can become a distraction when they need to focus on other tasks, such as working from home.

The research shows that a pet can be the ideal companion during any period of stress, with 87% of pet-owners agreeing their presence helps them destress during difficult moments.

Only 2% of stated their pets were not a calming influence.

Their reassuring company may help to explain why, according to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, many households are now looking to add a new pet to their family.

Dennis Relojo-Howell, founder of psychology website Psychreg, explains:

“Research have shown that pets, especially dogs and cats, can help us adapt to stressful events. Take for instance, the current crisis that we’re going through – if you have a pet, this can provide you with an opportunity to relax and calm your mind. Our interactions with our pets can soften the effects of adverse events and can decrease our stress.”

When it comes to choosing which animal would make the perfect pet to help keep the country calm during moments of stress, the research shows that the friendly and loyal Labrador Retriever topped the list of dogs we would most like to cuddle up to during the lock-down.

In second place were Cockapoos – not only are they extremely affectionate, they hardly shed, meaning less cleaning!

Coming in third was the Springer Spaniel, who love to socialise and have an abundance of energy.

The UK’s Most Comforting Dog Breeds
Dog Breed Rank
Labrador Retriever 1
Cockapoo 2
Springer Spaniel 3
Boxer 4
Cocker Spaniel 5
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 6
Border Collie 7
Golden Retriever 8
German Shepherd 9
Labradoodle 10
Boston Terrier 11
Beagle 12
Dachshund 13
Jack Russell 14
Pug 15

When it comes to feline friends, the placid British Shorthair was ranked as the number one cat to own, with the beautiful Bengal breed coming in at close second.

At number three was the Persian cat, known for its thick, glossy fur and kitten-like bursts of energy.

The UK’s Most Comforting Cat Breeds
Cat Breed Rank
British Shorthair 1
Bengal 2
Persian 3
Siamese 4
Ragdoll 5
Russian Blue 6
Scottish Fold 7
Savannah Cat 8
Burmese Cat 9
British Longhair 10
Sphynx Cat 11
Himalayan 12
Munchkin 13
Chartreux 14
Birman 15

However, whilst living with a pet can help reduce overall stress levels, they can also sometimes be distracting when owners needs to focus on other things – especially for those currently required to work from home.

The survey showed that over two thirds of pet owners (69%) are finding their furry friends an ongoing distraction when trying to concentrate on other things. Only 13% stated they don’t ever find their pets a distraction and are able to concentrate on tasks such as working from home.

The results indicated that younger generations are a little better at staying focused despite the balls of energy that may be charging around their homes. Six in ten (59%) 18-24-year-olds found themselves consistently distracted by their pets, compared to more than eight in ten (82%) 45-54-year-olds.

Commenting on the research, Tom Fitzgerald, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline said: 

“Whilst we obviously love our pets, it is great to see the research indicate that they are also helping keep the country calm during this stressful time.

“Much like recovering from an accident at home, the country is being forced to try and continue their day to day lives without leaving the house. As the research shows, pets can be a big help during this time, helping cheer people up and offering a friendly face for those who live on their own.

“However, it is also important to ensure you are putting aside set time to complete certain tasks whilst you are unable to leave your home. Whether it’s working from home, doing housework or completing rehabilitation recovery exercises, some activities may require you to give full attention to the task at hand – however cute the distraction may be.”

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1 thoughts on “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON: Pets are Helping the Nation De-Stress During the Lockdown

  1. Léa says:

    As a Mental Health Professional, I promise that there is nothing like Purr & Paw therapy! Both divas here are masters at it.

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