Pets have helped many survive gloom of virus lockdown

Most American pet parents say spending time with their four-legged companions improved their well-being during lockdown. (Rawpixel pic)

PENNSYLVANIA: Millions of people around the world have combated their coronavirus-induced loneliness by becoming first-time pet owners, with dog adoptions and sales soaring during these past few months of lockdown.

A recent study, commissioned by Freshpet, reveals that most American pet parents (83%) say that spending time with their four-legged companion during lockdown improved their mood more than online shopping or spending time with their significant other.

Even more surprisingly, over a third of American pet owners (37%) would choose to quarantine with their furry friend rather than their partner, if there was a second wave of Covid-19 lockdown.

A majority of pet parents say that the pandemic has shed new light on how much their dogs mean to them, so much so that many of them have reconsidered their ways of living to accommodate their pups during these uncertain times.

While animal welfare organisations have warned about the financial cost of this Covid-induced pet frenzy, most pet owners have been careful about meeting all of the needs of their four-legged friends.

According to the American Pet Products Association, a majority of pet parents reported that their spending has not been influenced by the state of the economy during the pandemic.

More than three-in-five owners claim that they have spent the same amount of money on their little companions as they did pre-pandemic, while 21% have spent either a little or a lot more.

Canine cuisine

Pet food often represents the biggest expense for dog parents, most of whom have recently bought extra treats to curtail some of their four-legged friend’s energy.

Although it may be tempting to spoil your pet during these troubled times, veterinarians advise limiting treats to regulate their appetite.

As millions of people have recently spent more time in the kitchen, Google search trends have indicated an upward trend (+50%) over the last months for “best dog homemade dog food” searches, and “recipes for homemade dog food” (+40%).

“Pets can get bored with their food. Imagine if you ate the same dry food for breakfast and dinner day after day.

“Now and then, it’s a good idea to mix it up and provide some variety,” Freshpet’s top veterinarian Gerardi Perez-Camargo said in a statement.