The year 2020 was challenging for most of us. The lockdown had a different effect on people. Some people reopened their talents in painting, cooking, planting, singing, and dancing. Others adopt pets to help them cope with the loneliness and boredom while quarantined at home. With the uprising number of pets getting adopted during the pandemic, has it changed our view of pet ownership? Read on for you to discover the answer!
Pets as saviors during the lockdown
Waltham Foundation surveyed pet ownership during the pandemic. The survey revealed that 86% of the respondents agreed that their bond with their pets has dramatically increased during the lockdown. To add, 60% of these respondents mentioned that their pets helped them get through the lockdown period; and 43% believed that their pets eased their anxiety and stress when in quarantine. The numbers speak for themselves! Pandemic changed people’s view on pet ownership, especially during lockdown!
Pets are members of the family
Pet owners have realized that their pets are not just animals but are also part of the family. This realization came when some people had no one during the quarantine but their pets. About $1,500-$9,900 is spent annually on pet supplies, accessories, and veterinary care in the US alone. Being able to spend this much on your pet only means looking at them as an essential part of the family.
Adjustment period during the lockdown
When the lockdown happened, many countries recognized the role of pets in their owners’ mental and physical health. Veterinary clinics and hospitals are essential establishments, so they remained open during the lockdown. The French government allowed people to go out of their houses to adopt animals from their nearby shelters. The Spanish government also allowed dog walking as an essential part of the daily routine of people. Some people allegedly borrowed their neighbor’s dog to be able to go out of their houses. With their owners staying home all day, more food, more cuddles, and more attention, pets were royalty during the lockdown!
Pets may experience separation anxiety as the pet owners get back to their work.PetsReport
On the other hand, many animal advocates expressed their concerns that some pets may have encountered high levels of stress due to the change of daily routines, extra meals, and noisier house. Pets may also experience separation anxiety as everything gets back to normal and the pet owners get back to their work. Animal experts highly suggest maintaining daily routines as much as possible and slowly introducing time to get separated from the family members. This way, pets may gradually keep themselves on track as everything gets back to normal.
Uprising pet adoption
A lot of people believed that the lockdown period was the perfect time to get a puppy. The American Kennel Club had a 180% increase in possible pet adoption. This increase in demand resulted in a shortage of puppies among breeders. There were also a lot of people on the waiting lists, and prices have doubled! Because of the puppy shortage, people resorted to stealing and smuggling animals. There have been cases reported of online scams, including deposits or more considerable sums of money used to purchase puppies.
Abandonment amidst new normal
When people started to get back to their “new normal,” pet abandonment has increased. The inability to provide for the pet’s needs and lack of time to care for their pets were a few reasons for the surrender of so many animals to animal shelters. Some shelters received an average of 40 surrendered animals in a day! Now, this is the epitome of irresponsible pet ownership! To campaign for responsible pet ownership, the UK-based The Dogs Trust changed their tagline to “A dog is for life, not just for lockdown” in hopes to remind people that dogs are lifetime responsibility and are not temporary!
A true pet owner would love their pet unconditionally and value their presence for a lifetime.PetsReport
Animals vis-a-vis COVID-19
During the early onset of coronavirus, people abandoned their pets to think that they might transmit the same virus to humans. Very few tested positive to COVID-19, and science supports that there is no evidence of coronavirus among pets that could be infectious to humans. However, experts advise pet owners to avoid touching other animals and wash hands appropriately before and after petting their pets in the household.
The pandemic made us realize the value of animals in our lives. This crisis taught us the importance of pets and how they are indispensable in helping us survive during the lockdown. However, if you are a true pet owner, you would love your pet not matter what and always look at your pet as a family member whose presence is valued for a lifetime and not just during lockdown!