Animal Support at Home During Lockdown

How having and not having pets affect different people during quarantine.

Photo credit: Grace Buehler

It’s no secret that having a pet decreases your stress levels on a daily basis, but in 2020 pets’ roles are even more important than ever because of the pandemic. Around the  world there has been a sharp increase in pet adoption. According to Kim Kavin from The Washington Post  “Americans kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were  stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, or had no work  and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize.” Cats, dogs, hamsters,  rabbits, various reptiles and others are a very important source of support during these  trying times. 

When you are abruptly cut off from your friends and the outside world, which you  have been in touch with your entire life, companionship and support is vital in your  home, and pets open up a whole new world. 

When it comes to animals, it’s all about trust, and with months of constantly being  together, that trust grows stronger. School work, jobs, company and life in general have  all been made easier with a pet by one’s


Grace Buehler, senior, who is  

doing the online version of school, has a  

“Well I mean pets are always nice. They’re wonderful and cute and interesting and fun. I feel like they help us emotionally, and recently I feel like everyone needs more emotional help than ever.” Photograph: Leo Visser


dog named Hulie who is 8 years old. “I

think it [quarantine] has been a million  

times better with my dog. It’s really nice to  

have her around, and my dog’s a huge  

snuggle bug so if I ever need physical  

attention, she’ll come cuddle with me. It’s

great,” Buehler said.

With the pressure of school and  

upcoming college applications, pets are  

very natural and important stress  

relievers. “When she’s (Hulie) around,  

she’s a huge destresser. Actually, I think  

she’s been realizing I’m more stressed  

and so she’s been hanging out with me a

lot more,” she said. Photograph: Grace Buehler 

What if Buehler didn’t have a pet? Would she have adopted one? “Yes. 100  percent. I would go out and bring home a dog myself,” Buehler said.

However, pets aren’t for everyone. Some people are or have family members  allergic to certain animals, while some people aren’t very bothered by being alone. Ike  Carter, junior, happens to fit both these categories, and he currently has no pets. 

“My family members are allergic to dogs and cats, but I’ve had fish before. I love  how aquariums and terrariums look,” Carter said. However, unlike Buehler, he decided  against getting a pet despite quarantine.

“I considered getting an iguana or snake or something like that, but they are so  much work to properly take care of that I decided not to go for it,” Carter said. “Since I can’t  really adopt a dog or a cat, the idea of getting a reptile or fish seems a bit impractical.”  

So, it seems that animal support, despite it currently trending, is not a necessity  or an option for some people, while for others it’s something that makes life easier and  makes a person happier. People with animals can certainly have their lives changed,  but for some people, their lives can change without them.