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Dogs can ease your self-quarantine stress

Dogs can ease our stress during these times of COVID-19 self-quarantine, an expert explains. As an extra bonus, we can do the same for them.
A tan dog stands on red tiles looking up at the camera

Self-quarantine during the COVID-19 epidemic can lead to feelings of isolation—but dogs can offer welcome emotional support, an expert says.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are practicing social distancing and self-quarantine—two measures experts call critical to slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Even before COVID-19, some data suggested that Americans already experienced relatively poor social health. A 2018 study in International Psychogeriatrics found that three out of four Americans experience moderate to high levels of loneliness.

An estimated 17.3 million adults suffer from major depression, according to the latest National Institute of Mental Health data. Research also has shown that people who don’t feel connected to others are more likely to catch a cold, develop heart disease, have lower cognitive function, and live shorter lives.

Here, Evan MacLean, an assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona, explains how the company of dogs can ease negative mental health effects of limiting social interactions necessary to help “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the virus. He notes that there is currently no evidence that household pets can contract or spread COVID-19.

The post Dogs can ease your self-quarantine stress appeared first on Futurity.

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