The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on how pet owners view pet healthcare and the human-animal bond, according to findings from a recent Banfield Pet Hospital survey. The online survey included 1,000 dog and cat owners in the United States, and was conducted by Wakefield Research from May 11-15.
The range of questions addressed how pet owners have become more of less perceptive of their pet’s health, how they plan to address their pet’s health moving forward, and how their pet has impacted their personal wellbeing during the pandemic.
Notable findings from the study include:
• 84% feel more attuned to their pet’s health
• 67% plan to make changes to how they care for their pet
• 20% are committed to taking their pets to the veterinarian for preventive care check-ups more often
• 42% are exercising their pets more than before the pandemic
• 37% are paying more attention to their pet’s personal care such as dental health
• 33% say their pet has gained weight during quarantine
• 44% feel they are more responsible and attentive towards their dog or cat
• 41% contacted their veterinarian during quarantine, whether in person or via Telehealth
• 10% plan to adopt another pet to help keep their dog or cat company
• 39% say their pet helped lower their anxiety and uncertainty caused by the pandemic
• 45% say their household’s happiness has increased while spending more time with their pet during quarantine
• 47% plan to spend more quality time with their pets when they are home
• 21% plan to adjust their schedule to be at home with their pets more often
• 33% feel more attuned to their dog or cat now than before the pandemic began
• 65% have shown their pets increased affection
• 20% prefer working alongside their pets over their co-workers
The pandemic will undeniably have a lasting impact on everyday life, and the effects will touch the veterinary business. While many models and surveys show a downturn in business during the pandemic, this survey offers a glimmer of hope that pet owners may make an additional investment in their pet’s health moving forward with preventative care and healthier habits at home.
“The human-animal bond now, more than ever, plays an integral role in people’s lives,” said Molly McAllister, chief medical officer at Banfield Pet Hospital, in a press release. “At Banfield, we are firm believers that regular preventive veterinary care is key to helping our pets live happy, healthy lives. 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.”