- 1 in 3 Californians have considered getting a new pet during lockdown.
- 16% of pet owners say they would be unable to afford their pet if they lose their job.
- Interactive slideshow on how to keep your pet happy during isolation.
Dave Louvet, CEO of Innovet Pet – a California-based provider of innovative, natural well-being products for pets – has warned that an ‘extended lockdown period may lead to a significant increase in pet ownership. We believe this trend would lead to a significant spike in abandoned pets over the course of the year, as many owners deem them unaffordable, or realize they have no one to care for their pet when they eventually return to work.’
Indeed, Innovet Pet has carried out its own research which suggests a strong upcoming trend of pet ownership during the current pandemic. The company carried out a survey (3,000) which found that 1 in 3 (35%) Californians say they would consider getting a new pet during lockdown, especially if this period was extended.
We are all aware of the positive influence a pet can have on your life, however, it is impossible to deny the responsibility that comes with pet ownership. The study also discovered that 16% of pet owners here admitted that if they were to lose their job, they would struggle to afford to keep their pet. This highlights the financial responsibility of pet ownership, which could be an issue given the current state of the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, pets require a great deal of attention just like having a child. In fact, over 1 in 10 (13%) of respondents believe it would actually be more difficult to care for a pet than a child during lockdown! Perhaps this is because animals need exercise outdoors and fresh air in order to maximise their health and happiness, whereas a child may be more content to play indoors.
Many workers are now working from home, meaning they have sufficient time to spend at home with their pet each day. There are regulations regarding how and when you are permitted to walk your pet during lockdown, however, 34% of respondents say they are unaware of these rules, which could get them into trouble!
Buying food and basic supplies for your pet is a substantial expense, especially when you also have to stock up on groceries for yourself and your family. While stockpiling for lockdown, over half (54%) of California pet owners say they also bulk bought supplies for their pet.
If you are stuck at home, having a pet can be a good distraction from reality. Many pet owners take comfort in their animal and nearly one fifth (18%) say they have become more relaxed about rules for their pet since self-isolation began, for example, letting them sleep in the bedroom or allowing them on the couch. Perhaps this is because their owners are feeling extra lonely and in need of a warm companion to cuddle.
Your pet may be a bit confused as to why you are home each day, rather than out and about at work or running errands. When lockdown is over, the survey found that 1 in 3 pet owners (30%) say they will feel guilty about leaving their pet alone at home again once they return to work. The worry is that those who have decided to get a pet over this period, will find themselves struggling to have the time to look them once life returns to normal.
‘Of course, there is no denying what wonderful company a pet can be during everyday life, especially at a time where tensions, stress levels and feelings of loneliness are high,’ says David Louvet. ‘However, do not forget about the financial and emotional responsibility of a pet, particularly if you have never considered it before. There is reason to believe that over this period of lockdown and social distancing there will be a peak in households taking on new pets. However, once this period of staying at home ends, and the reality of looking after a pet sinks in, there is a concern that there will be an influx of abandoned pets who will need to be re-homed.'
Make sure to take the time to do sufficient research before looking into getting an animal as they are a lifetime commitment.’
Innovet Pet has created an informative interactive slideshow on tips to keep your pet happy during lockdown: