Pets ‘Crucial’ to owners’ | Daily News


Pets ‘Crucial’ to owners’

Morale during lockdown, says animal charity

Britain’s pets have become crucial colleagues for their owners as they work from home by boosting morale and motivation and reducing stress and anxiety, research has found.

Cats and dogs have played a vital role in maintaining the productivity and morale of their owners during the lockdown.

As part of a new campaign celebrating rescue pets, a poll by leading animal charity Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has shown how Britons have relied on their pets while working from home.

Almost four in 10 of the 2,000 cat and dog owners surveyed said that having a pet with them during lockdown had helped them maintain a regular routine.

More than half (58 per cent) said that having a pet with them while they worked during lockdown had helped boost their productivity and motivation.

Battersea ambassador David Gandy has spent lockdown with his rescue dog, Dora, as well his partner’s mother’s two rescue dogs.

He said: “Even though there have been frustrations with the necessary restrictions during lockdown, the dogs are blissfully oblivious to what is happening. They may indeed actually be enjoying it, with longer walks and more attention and playtime than ever before.

“No matter where I am or what I’m doing, the three dogs are by my side, laying a head on my knee through hours of Zoom calls and helping me out in the land and garden from morning until night.

“Dogs provide us with so much and ask very little back, just a walk, some food and a cuddle. Now they really need our support to make sure they can continue to do that vital work.”

The research also revealed how cats and dogs had helped their owners get an issue off their chest - with one in 10 having moaned about a colleague to their furry friend.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, coincides with Battersea’s new advertising campaign, which highlights the key role that rescue dogs and cats have played across the UK during quarantine.

Ali Taylor, head of canine behaviour at Battersea, said: “We know there’s evidence that owning a pet is good for mental health and tackling stress - and this is clearly really important at such a challenging time.

“We’ve heard so many amazing stories about how Battersea dogs and cats are now rescuing their owners - helping them feel less overwhelmed, distracting them from the news agenda.”

Battersea helped more than 5,000 animals across its three centres last year, as well as using its expertise, influence, and voice to help thousands more all over the country and across the world.

However, like all charities, Battersea is facing a significant drop in income as a direct impact of coronavirus and is reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund its vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them.

The charity is appealing for support to enable it to continue to help “wonderful, imperfect, worth-it” rescue dogs and cats.

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