There are many well documented reasons why household pets help people of all ages. They help reduce stress and that helps improve physical and mental health outcomes.
Pets have been used in therapy to help relieve anxiety before and after surgery and during treatment of other physical and emotional conditions. Exams time can be extremely stressful for students so universities, knowing this, have developed opportunities for students to play with puppies and kittens.
Pets in family settings help members interact with one another; they help children develop interactive skills and they take the edge off loneliness and/or depression.
It's no surprise that the number of pets being purchased and adopted, during Covid 19, has increased tremendously. People are spending more time at home with fewer social interactions and working from home. The need to take the dog for a walk can be an excellent break from the routine and mundane; and at the same time it's a source of exercise.
I guess, though, the thing to remember is that pets are a commitment. They live up to 10 or 15 years and they'll need care if/ when you go back to being able to travel.