With more time spent at home, pet owners are seeing their daily routines upended. Many who once relied on dog-walkers and smart devices to keep up with their pets during their time at work are now spending quality time with their pets all day long.
To better understand the challenges and changes pet parents are experiencing during this time, Mars Petcare conducted its second annual BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program report, “Pets in a Pandemic.” The report revealed the growing need for individual assistance and pet-friendly accommodations as pets become more integrated into people’s lives.
Pet Parents Experience Benefits of Getting a Pet
Amid the pandemic, many individuals craved companionship and company under stay-at-home orders and some turned to pets as a solution. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 30% of survey respondents welcomed a new pet and 58% said it was for companionship. Pet owners shared the benefits of having pets include less stress or anxiety (78%), less monotony or boredom (75%) and a sense of hope (69%).
Financial Challenges Became Apparent
While many people added pet to their families during the pandemic, others were faced with the difficult decision of whether they could continue to care for theirs. In fact, 61% percent of pet owners were concerned about their financial ability to care for their pet in early 2020 and nearly one-third of owners said access to pet-friendly housing information would have been helpful.
People Want Pets Where They Work
Working from home has granted many pet owners the unique opportunity to work alongside their pets and better accommodate their needs. The report showed the majority (75%) of working pet owners expressed concern over their pets’ and their own anxiety upon returning to the office. These concerns led many to express interest in pet-friendly offices in the future, as two-thirds of respondents said they would like the ability to take their pets to work, and another two-thirds would be likely to do so if allowed.
Leisure Activities are Changing
As pets become more integrated in their parents’ everyday routines, many hope this trend will continue beyond the pandemic. Nearly 60% of pet parents are interested in traveling in 2021 and would like to bring their pets with them. Additionally, 50% said they would be more comfortable in outdoor stores, events and patio seating at restaurants if they could bring their pets, pointing to increased interest in creating more accommodating spaces for pets.
For more information on the report’s findings, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.