Meanwhile, another study has shown pet owners get an oxytocin spike when staring into their dogs' eyes and the dogs also experience the same effect when they look at their owner. And, most recently, South Australian researchers have discovered pets can help prevent suicide among people over 60 years-of-age.
In the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, there has never been a more important time to adopt a pet. Many pets have lost their homes due to their owners being impacted by the disease, and pet shelters are currently overwhelmed due to decreasing volunteer numbers while people are required self-isolate or quarantine.
According to Australian independent non-profit mental health organisation Beyond Blue, there are many ways in which pets can positively impact your physical and mental wellbeing including:
- Being a non-judgmental support companion;
- Keeping you company;
- Encouraging you to be more active; and
- Taking care of a pet reminds you to take better care of yourself
If you've decided to adopt a pet, call ahead to check that the shelter is open and to allow them time to arrange social-distancing measures.
Some shelters you might to consider for pet adoption include:
Sydney Dogs & Cats Home
PET FOSTER CARE
If you're not able to commit to a pet long-term, you could also consider fostering a pet. The RSPCA is currently calling for foster carers to take on cats, dogs, chicks, ducklings, goats, lambs, litters of kittens and litters of puppies.
PETS AND COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS
Addressing concerns about whether pets may spread the disease, the RSCPA has said there is "currently no evidence companion animals can contract & spread COVID-19. There's a risk if you're infected with virus, it may be present on pet fur or skin & could be picked up by another person. Ensure anyone in contact with your pets practice good hygiene."