A study conducted by Nestle Purina research and published in the journal PLOS One has concluded that dog owners were significantly less depressed than non-pet owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1,500 volunteers were surveyed for the study, which was led by Dr Francois Martin.

As well as having lower depression scores, dog owners were more likely to report feeling loved and valued during the pandemic than those who did not own a dog.

Owners also had a significantly more positive attitude toward and commitment to pets.

The full study is available open access here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0260676 


  1. Martin F, Bachert KE, Snow L, Tu HW, Belahbib J, et al. (2021) Depression, anxiety, and happiness in dog owners and potential dog owners during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. PLOS ONE 16(12): e0260676. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260676

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