Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Beike, Denise

Committee Member/Reader

Pare, Adam

Committee Member/Second Reader

Lehmann, Michael

Committee Member/Third Reader

Warren, Ron


Pet ownership has always been thought to be beneficial, but some recent studies have not been consistent with this statement. A possible explanation for this is an unhealthy overdependence that pets and pet owners have developed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this paper, I examine whether separation anxiety from pets, people, and separation behavior of pets could be predictors of anxiety and physical health. The first prediction was that pet and non pet owners differed demographically. Also, it was hypothesized that separation anxiety from humans, separation anxiety from pets, but not pet separation behaviors predicted anxiety and physical health. Finally, it was also predicted that those who adopted their pet during the pandemic experienced greater separation anxiety from them. Participants (N= 691, aged 18-69, M = 26.6), completed demographic information and online questionnaires measuring separation anxiety from humans, separation anxiety from pets, pet separation behaviors, levels of anxiety, and levels of physical health. Pet owners and non pet owners were different in every demographic category but ethnicity and physical health. Also, separation anxiety from humans and pets were positively correlated. Furthermore, separation anxiety from humans was a predictor for both anxiety and physical health. Separation anxiety from pets was a predictor for anxiety, while pet separation behaviors was the predictor for physical health. This study demonstrates that separation anxiety from pets has parallels, but is also different, than separation anxiety from humans.


Pet, Pet attachment, Separation anxiety, Anxiety, Physical health, Separation behavior