As the world continues to grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from Banfield Pet Hospital® reveals how weeks of increased time spent at home has affected pets and their owners.
As people are spending more time at home than ever before, 20 percent say they prefer working alongside their pets over their co-workers.
45 percent shared that their household’s happiness has increased while spending more time with their pet during quarantine, with 39 percent revealing their pet helped lower their anxiety and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. 47 percent of pet owners reveal they’re talking to their pets more than before the pandemic, with cat owners (51 percent) being chattier than dog owners (47 percent), and women (50 percent) talking to their pets more than men (44 percent).
Key findings also reveal 84 percent of owners feel more attuned to their pet’s health as a result of the stay-at-home orders, and 67 percent plan to make changes to how they care for their pet.
“This survey shows that pets are always here for us – even, and especially, during the most difficult of times – and we’re encouraged that as a result of spending more time together, people are committed to finding new ways to better be there for their pets,” said Molly McAllister, chief medical officer at Banfield Pet Hospital.
One-third of owners believe their pets appear to be happier (38 percent) and more playful (35 percent) during this time. Pets are also receiving extra “TLC,” with 65 percent of owners showing them increased affection. They might be getting extra treats as well, as 33 percent of owners say their pet has gained weight during quarantine.
With some states easing stay-at-home orders, 73 percent of people are concerned about going back to the office and spending time away from their pets, with 59 percent worried their dog or cat may suffer from separation anxiety once their new work schedule begins.
10 percent plan to adopt another pet to help keep their dog or cat company.
20 percent are committed to taking their pets to the veterinarian for preventive care check-ups more often after the pandemic than before, and 41 percent contacted their veterinarian during quarantine, whether in person, via phone, or through a telehealth service.
Banfield Pet Hospital’s telehealth service, Vet Chat™, provides their millions of Optimum Wellness Plan clients access to one-on-one chat with a veterinarian anytime, anywhere via the Banfield website and through their app. Banfield has seen nearly a 90 percent increase in Vet Chat activity since the beginning of March, with the service providing owners with general pet care advice and triage support without having to leave their homes.
For more information about Banfield Pet Hospital, visit www.Banfield.com.
The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) between May 11th and May 15th, 2020, among 1,000 U.S. dog and cat owners, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Featured photo: Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash.