Should You Get A Pet?

As Pandemic Blues Drag On, Could Getting A Dog Be The Cure?

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grow and the temperatures drop around the country, forcing many back into  isolation, one might consider the folksy advice often attributed to President Harry S. Truman: If you want a friend in life, get a dog. While it is very unlikely Truman actually said this, it’s a pretty solid piece of advice, according to science.

NPR’s Patti Neighmond tells us why adopting a dog or other pet can help relieve anxiety in people struggling during the pandemic.

Pets are “a respite from the difficulties of life,” psychologist Lori Kogan, a professor of veterinary medicine at Colorado State University tells Neighmond. They provide their human companions “an outlet to give.”

And while relationships with friends and family can be fraught, she says, “relationships with animals are simple.”

So they won’t wheedle us into a political discussion at the dinner table or criticize the tatty yoga pants we’ve been wearing for the last three days straight? Win-win.

Read on for five people’s stories of how pets  motivate them to exercise and socialize — and bring them joy.

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