Research shows that pets don't necessarily make their owners happy

Past research has shown that owning a dog can help owners

maintain their mental well-being and alleviate pain . But in terms of happiness, pets may not make us all that happy, a new study has found.

The Perks of Pet Ownership? The Effects of Pet Ownership on Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic - William J. Chopik, Jewon Oh, Rebekka Weidmann, Jonathan R. Weaver, Rhonda N. Balzarini, Giulia Zoppolat, Richard B. Slatcher , 2023

New study raises questions about the benefits of pet ownership

Does Pet Ownership Help or Harm Your Well-Being? | Psychology Today

Since pets are generally believed to have positive effects on personal well-being, pet ownership was often encouraged, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To examine whether pet ownership improved the well-being of people suffering from the pandemic, a Michigan State University research team conducted three surveys in May 2020 targeting a total of 767 people. I did.

The survey used a mixed method, combining an open-ended questionnaire asking respondents to reflect on the role their pets played, and an analysis that quantitatively evaluated happiness using multiple indicators.

Some pet owners who responded to the survey reported that owning a pet is a burden, with pets interfering with remote work and having to worry about their pets' health. Additionally, people who own animals with short lifespans sometimes cited the sadness of losing a pet.

However, overall, there were more positive comments than negative ones, with owners saying their pets made them happy, made them feel positive, and provided them with love and companionship. .

For example, one woman said, ``I take my pet with me everywhere and share my daily experiences. That way, I don't feel alone.''

In addition, some people who owned dogs said they kept them as reassuring watchdogs, and some people kept pets as animal therapy in hopes of having a healing effect.

However, when we measured the happiness levels of people who owned pets and compared them to people who did not own pets, we found that there was almost no difference. This result was independent of the type, number, and intimacy of the pets, and was not affected by the owner's personality.

The research team says, ``The reason there is no difference in happiness between pet owners and non-pet owners is that people who don't own pets find other things that make them happy and enrich their lives with them.'' I think it's because I'm doing it. It's also possible that the burden of owning a pet offsets the positive effects, as mentioned by pet owners in our survey.

Commenting on the results of this study, William Chopik of Michigan State University's Department of Psychology said, ``People say that owning a pet makes them happy, but when we actually measure happiness levels, that doesn't seem to be the case. 'People tend to encourage people they know to get a pet when they feel lonely or in need of companionship, but it's unlikely to make as much of a difference as people think.' Did.

It should be noted that while pets did not make humans suffering from the pandemic much happier, pets, especially cats, may have become happier as their owners spent more time at home due to remote work. It has been revealed by research.

The pandemic may have made many pets happier, especially cats - GIGAZINE

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1l_ks