Hyderabad: Dog or therapy is the million-dollar question right now.
Did you know that the number of pet adoptions worldwide has skyrocketed since the pandemic began? According to an online survey, more and more people are bringing in animals such as dogs, cats and birds home to cope with loneliness, anxiety and stress during these tough times that require us to work from home and avoid meeting our loved ones for long durations. The survey that was conducted by Money.com also showed that 95 per cent of people were satisfied with the experience of choosing a new pet during this period.
“My birds have helped me appreciate the simple things in life. They have been a great source of entertainment for my grandparents who have been locked down at home for several months in a row. I have two cockatiels, two lovebirds and two finches at home that mimic all kinds of sounds and say words like ‘hello’ and ‘peekaboo’,” says Joshua Emmanuel Francis, a grad student from the city.
“Every morning, many other little birds come to our house and it’s like a bird choir. My mornings have since become more positive and that sets a great tone for the rest of my day. Even when I feel stressed with academic commitments, spending some quality time with them is like therapy for me,” he adds.
Pets have also become an important source of emotional support for people with mental health problems. City-based entrepreneur Aarushi Singh’s Persian cat Aarchie has brought in so much joy into her family. “I adopted my first cat in the pandemic, and since then we’re doing everything together from eating, playing and napping. Even when I am working from home, he’s always there right beside me and sometimes sits on my laptop. I couldn’t have asked for a better stress-buster,” she shares.
Animals give us so much but expect nothing in return, chime in pet owners.
Filmmaker Deepak Reddy shares that taking his two dogs – Suzy (Golden Shepherd) and Sunny (English Retriever) – for long walks has been the biggest stress-buster for him. “As a filmmaker who is stuck at home with his scripts, lockdown was supposed to be bad for me. However, my dogs have made it better with their unconditional love and care. They are my hope and relief,” he adds.
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