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Pets’ Role in Online Learning

dog sitting next to laptop

Most of us are more than familiar with what last year’s pandemic brought. Working from home, a lot of time indoors, and for the kids - virtual schooling. Students transitioned from classroom settings to desks at home, which changed the game for many of them. Along with taking away the in-person time with their teachers and peers, kids also started having trouble focusing and performing well in their schoolwork. A new study by Mars Petcare shows that a specific member of the family helped students with this tough transition.

The study shows that those families with furry friends benefited greatly when it came to online learning. 52 percent of kids spent more time with their pets than before the pandemic. Now, they have been engaging in a range of activities including playing, talking, and reading to them. And it did them good!

When school went virtual, many students were left feeling lonely and even started having feelings of anxiety and depression. According to the study, having a pet around them significantly reduced those negative feelings. 87 percent of parents believed that their pets improved the children’s overall mood, not to mention decreased loneliness and stress.

Did someone say study buddy? You heard that right. Pets also helped students’ academic performance! 56 percent of parents reported that they saw improved concentration in their kids and 72 percent saw an increase in motivation. As mentioned above, students have been reading and talking to their pets more which resulted in a jump in their confidence levels when communicating with their teachers and peers.

kitten watching young girl do homework

Students may not have been able to run around the playground or socialize with their classmates as they once did, but pets have provided a great alternative for them. Now, kids have spent their breaks with their pets and 81 percent of parents reported that the interaction encouraged more physical activity. This promotes the exercise that they’ve been missing by sitting in front of their computers all day. It also gives their eyes and mind a rest from the screen. In addition, being around their pets more and taking care of them has taught more responsibility and patience.

As a bonus, not only did students benefit from having their pet home while being in virtual school, but vice versa too! Parents discovered that their furry members of the family seemed happier with the kids being home. 77 percent reported that the pets were actually more calm as well.

The role that pets play in online learning even extends to teachers. Many of them have started to incorporate their companion animals in their virtual classrooms as well, which has benefited students in similar ways. As they all return back to school, it’ll be no surprise when the idea of classroom pets once again becomes popular. Just another reason to love and appreciate our furry friends!


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