While many of us might try meditation, stress balls or long baths to release tension after a busy day at work, it seems we might be overlooking a less obvious solution to our worries – our furry friends. A study conducted by no win no fee claim specialists, National Accident Helpline, found that for many of us, our pets are the perfect antidote to our problems. But which breeds bring us most comfort?
It comes as no surprise that we’re a nation of animal lovers. But our pets are so much more than just something to stroke or walk – for the majority of us, they’re therapeutic. In the study of 2,000 Brits, a whopping 87% said their animals help keep them calm during stressful situations. Only 2% of those questioned admitted their furry friends were not a calming influence when feeling under pressure.
With more of us working from home than ever before thanks to Covid-19, it seems our pets have served as worthy replacements to our office peers during times of worry and stress.
Most Comforting Breeds
If you’re looking to buy a pet to help with your work woes, the study found there are some breeds of cats and dogs that will likely prove more comforting than others.
It’s Labrador Retrievers that come in top, providing their owners with more stress relief than any other dog breed. The affectionate Cockapoo comes in second, while the ever-popular Springer Spaniel is the third most comforting breed of dog. These are followed by a Boxer in fourth and a Cocker Spaniel in fifth.
But what if you’re a cat person? Go for a British Shorthair if you want the ultimate tension reducer. The study found that Bengals are the second most comforting feline, while Persians are third. In fourth on the stress-reliever scale is the Siamese, closely followed by the Ragdoll.
But be warned – the study also found that 69% of pet owners find their animals distract them when they’re trying to focus. So having a pet means your productivity levels might take a hit. Worth the risk?
Why are Pets a Comfort?
When you look at the science, it’s no surprise that us Brits are finding solace in our pets. Bonding with animals helps lower our blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase levels of oxytocin in our bodies. Oxytocin is a hormone that has incredible calming effects on the body by slowing our heart rate and breathing, reducing blood pressure and inhibiting the production of stress hormones.
During an unprecedented period for us all – one with much worry and stress – animals have been a comfort and consistency for many of us that we may not have realised we needed. Tom Fitzgerald, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said: “As the research shows, pets can be a big help during this time, helping cheer people up and offering a friendly face for those who live on their own.”