PET ANXIETY: Having a pet means help with relaxing and a comforting friend during tough times. However, the downside of a lot of time at home means the possibility of negative behavior from that dog or cat once the owner returns to work.

According to a study by Mira-Pet, one in five pet owners in Pennsylvania are concerned that their pet will suffer from separation anxiety when they return to work after lockdown is fully lifted.

In fact, the study of 3,000 pet owners across the U.S. found that 38% of pet owners would consider a small pay cut in order to keep working from home, even when lockdown was completely over.

Many pet owners feel they have strengthened their emotional bonds with their animals during this stressful pandemic period, leading to a deeper bond than before it happened. This highlights the positive influence pets can have on your general wellbeing and health, particularly in times of adversity.

Meanwhile, the study also found that ⅔ of pet owners felt having a pet was vital to their mental health during lockdown.

While cats are typically more comfortable in their own company, dogs will feel the separation more. A quarter (26%) of pet owners say they are worried their pet will have separation anxiety when lockdown restrictions are fully lifted and they spend less time at home.

Healthy social relationships — including humans and pets — can play a key role in mental wellbeing, which is why without them, we may feel depressed, lonely and unwell. This explains why 73% of pet owners say their furry friend has helped them with their mental health during lockdown. For socially isolated people such as those in lockdown alone, pets can actually be a lifeline.

Many pet owners are in favor of an office mascot: around 57% of those polled said they thought an office pet would improve team spirit and productivity for their work team.