The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives and increased their vulnerability to physical and mental health hazards. While Korea has avoided nationwide lockdown measures since the COVID-19 outbreak, the prolonged restrictions and social isolation measures have resulted in detrimental psychological effects, such as increased anxiety, boredom, and loneliness. The present study investigated dog attachment and changes in dog walking during the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of dog attachment and dog walking on the loneliness of Korean dog owners. An online, cross-sectional survey was conducted in the fall of 2021 in which 249 dog owners responded to questionnaires that asked questions about dog attachment, their perception of dog walking, and their feelings of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most dog owners responded that they spent more time with their dogs and developed a stronger bond with them during the pandemic. Additionally, respondents stated that they walked their dogs more often than they did before COVID-19 and that their dogs aided in reducing loneliness. We found that dog walking directly affected attachment and indirectly influenced the loneliness of dog owners. Further research is required to determine how dog walking impacts positive psychological effects and promote dog walking.
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: