What You Didn’t Know About Having a Pandemic Pet

Studies reporting null or negative differences in the mental health of pet owners and non-owners.

Amiot, CE, Gagne, C., & Bastian, B. (2022). Pet ownership and psychological well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 6091. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10019-z

Clements, H., Valentin, S., Jenkins, N., Rankin, J., Gee, NR, Snellgrove, D., & Sloman, KA (2021). Companion Animal Type and Level of Engagement Matter: A Mixed-Methods Study Examining Links between Companion Animal Guardianship, Loneliness and Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Animals, 11(8), 2349. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082349

Denis-Robichaud, J., Aenishaenslin, C., Richard, L., Desmarchelier, M., & Carabin, H. (2022). Association between Pet Ownership and Mental Health and Well-Being of Canadians Assessed in a Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(4), 2215. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042215

Gasteiger, N., Vedhara, K., Massey, A., Jia, R., Ayling, K., Chalder, T., Coupland, C., & Broadbent, E. (2021). Depression, anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a New Zealand cohort study on mental well-being. BMJ Open, 11(5), e045325. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045325

Grajfoner, D., Ke, GN, & Wong, RMM (2021). The Effect of Pets on Human Mental Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19 Lockdown in Malaysia. Animals, 11(9), 2689. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092689

McDonald, SE, O’Connor, KE, Matijczak, A., Tomlinson, CA, Applebaum, JW, Murphy, JL, & Zsembik, BA (2021). Attachment to Pets Moderates Transitions in Latent Patterns of Mental Health Following the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of a Survey of US Adults. Animals, 11(3), 895. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030895

Mueller, MK, King, EK, Halbreich, ED, & Callina, KS (2022). Companion Animals and Adolescent Stress and Adaptive Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Anthrozoos, 0(0), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2022.2027093

Mueller, MK, Richer, AM, Callina, KS, & Charmaraman, L. (2021). Companion Animal Relationships and Adolescent Loneliness during COVID-19. Animals, 11(3), 885. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030885

Phillipou, A., Tan, E., Toh, W., Van Rheenen, T., Meyer, D., Neill, E., Sumner, P., & Rossell, S. (2021). Pet ownership and mental health during COVID-19 lockdown. Australian Veterinary Journal, 99(10), 423–426. https://doi.org/10.1111/avj.13102

Shah, SMA, Mohammad, D., Qureshi, MFH, Abbas, MZ, & Aleem, S. (2021). Prevalence, Psychological Responses and Associated Correlates of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in a Global Population, During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. Community Mental Health Journal, 57(1), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00728-y

Tan, JSQ, Fung, W., Tan, BSW, Low, JY, Syn, NL, Goh, YX, & Pang, J. (2021). Association between pet ownership and physical activity and mental health during the COVID-19 “circuit breaker” in Singapore. One Health, 13, 100343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2021.100343

Wells, DL, Clements, MA, Elliott, LJ, Meehan, ES, Montgomery, CJ, & Williams, GA (2022). Quality of the Human–Animal Bond and Mental Wellbeing During a COVID-19 Lockdown. Anthrozoos, 0(0), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2022.2051935

Xin, X., Cheng, L., Li, S., Feng, L., Xin, Y., & Wang, S. (2021). Improvement to the subjective well‐being of pet ownership may have positive psychological influence during COVID‐19 epidemic. Animal Science Journal = Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho, 92(1), e13624. https://doi.org/10.1111/asj.13624

Studies finding mixed results on the impact of pets on mental health:

Gasteiger, N., Vedhara, K., Massey, A., Jia, R., Ayling, K., Chalder, T., Coupland, C., & Broadbent, E. (2021). Depression, anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a New Zealand cohort study on mental well-being. BMJ Open, 11(5), e045325. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045325

Grajfoner, D., Ke, GN, & Wong, RMM (2021). The Effect of Pets on Human Mental Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19 Lockdown in Malaysia. Animals, 11(9), 2689. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092689

Lima, M., Mateus, TL, & Silva, K. (2022). With or Without You: Beneficial and Detrimental Associations Between Companion Dogs and Human Psychological Adjustment During a COVID-19 Lockdown Phase. Anthrozoos, 0(0), 1–20.

Martin, F., Bachert, KE, Snow, L., Tu, H.-W., Belahbib, J., & Lyn, SA (2021). Depression, anxiety, and happiness in dog owners and potential dog owners during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. PLOS ONE, 16(12), e0260676. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260676

Ratschen, E., Shoesmith, E., Shahab, L., Silva, K., Kale, D., Toner, P., Reeve, C., & Mills, DS (2020). Human-animal relationships and interactions during the Covid-19 lockdown phase in the UK: Investigating links with mental health and loneliness. PLOS ONE, 15(9), e0239397. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239397

Studies finding pet owners generally had better mental health than non-owners:

Tan, JSQ, Fung, W., Tan, BSW, Low, JY, Syn, NL, Goh, YX, & Pang, J. (2021). Association between pet ownership and physical activity and mental health during the COVID-19 “circuit breaker” in Singapore. One Health, 13, 100343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2021.100343

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