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Article

“I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Quarantine Partner!”: Experiences with Companion Dogs during Covid-19

1
Counseling Psychology, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
2
School of Social Work, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
Department of Psychology, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
4
Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
5
College of Education, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paola Maria Valsecchi
Animals 2021, 11(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020330
Received: 4 January 2021 / Revised: 23 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how Covid-19 restrictions influenced dog owners’ relationships and sense of connection with their canine companions. Data were collected through an on-line survey and themes from open-ended questions were coded by the researchers using directed content analysis. Results highlighted a strong human–animal appreciation, and that dog ownership during this pandemic diminished participants’ sense of isolation and loneliness, as well as supported their mental/physical health.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been found to negatively impact the psychological well-being of significant numbers of people globally. Many individuals have been challenged by social distancing mandates and the resultant social isolation. Humans, in our modern world, have rarely been as isolated and socially restricted. Social connectedness and support are critical protective factors for human survival and well-being. Social isolation can lead to loneliness, boredom, and can become a risk factor for physical and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The attachments formed with dogs, however, can be as strong or even stronger than human connections, and has been shown to relate to fewer physical health and mental health problems, as well as decrease isolation and loneliness. The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine the thoughts, experiences and concerns of 4105 adults regarding their companion dog during the initial months of Covid-19. Data were collected between March 31st–April 19th, 2020 via online survey and themes were coded by the researchers using directed content analysis. Results highlighted a strong human–animal appreciation, and that dog ownership during this pandemic diminished participants’ sense of isolation and loneliness, as well as supported their mental/physical health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Covid-19; companion–animal relationships; human–dog bond; social isolation; dog ownership Covid-19; companion–animal relationships; human–dog bond; social isolation; dog ownership
MDPI and ACS Style

Bussolari, C.; Currin-McCulloch, J.; Packman, W.; Kogan, L.; Erdman, P. “I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Quarantine Partner!”: Experiences with Companion Dogs during Covid-19. Animals 2021, 11, 330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020330

AMA Style

Bussolari C, Currin-McCulloch J, Packman W, Kogan L, Erdman P. “I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Quarantine Partner!”: Experiences with Companion Dogs during Covid-19. Animals. 2021; 11(2):330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020330

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bussolari, Cori, Jennifer Currin-McCulloch, Wendy Packman, Lori Kogan, and Phyllis Erdman. 2021. "“I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Quarantine Partner!”: Experiences with Companion Dogs during Covid-19" Animals 11, no. 2: 330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020330

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