BRUSSELS, April 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey conducted by Mars Petcare of 2,000 parents across the UK and US shows family pets help children better manage feelings of stress and loneliness, which have been greatly exacerbated by virtual schooling as a result of the pandemic.
Around the world, 332 million children have lived under stay-at-home policies for at least nine months and nearly 1.6 billion learners have been affected by disruption of in-person schooling. There are early indicators that the pandemic has had a negative impact on children’s social skills, productivity and well-being. Save the Children report that more than half of children who were separated from friends during the pandemic reported feeling less happy and more worried and this shift to virtual schooling means students may have more distractions and less oversight, which can reduce their motivation.
For many families navigating the stress and challenges of home-schooling, pets have offered children crucial support. More than eight in 10 (83%) parents found that their family pet helped their child feel less lonely during lockdown, with more than three-quarters feeling that day-to-day interactions with their cat or dog reduced their child’s stress and anxiety. Parents agreed their pet supported their child during the unprecedented break from in-person schooling by improving their mood, providing companionship and giving much-needed emotional support.
Pets may make the best…