Lifestyle Pets New Report Highlights Hopeful Highs and Challenging Lows of Being a Pet Owner amid the Pandemic The "Pets in a Pandemic" report from Mars Petcare's BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program found the majority of pet owners feel more hopeful about the future because of their pet By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 18, 2020 05:34 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: getty images 2020 has been an eventful year for pets and their parents. Animal lovers have cleared out shelters throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, adopting and fostering pets as a way of getting extra companionship during quarantine. Unfortunately, the uncertainty of the year also means that many pet parents struggled to care for their furry friends. The "Pets in a Pandemic" report from Mars Petcare's BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program explores the highs and lows unique to pet owners during the pandemic. The report analyzed data from government leaders and thousands of pet owners, focusing mainly on a survey of 1,001 American pet parents conducted by KRC Research. The report found that pets undoubtedly brought positivity to their owners' lives during the pandemic. Out of those surveyed, 86% of pet owners said their pet's companionship has helped them through 2020 and its troubles, 78% feel their stress is less because of their pet, and 69% responded that having a pet has made them feel more hopeful about the future. Survey Finds Dog Owners Are Exercising More, Enjoying Working From Home During the Pandemic Unfortunately, for some owners, pets became a point of stress due to the financial hardships brought on by COVID-19. One in three city officials said they’ve heard concerns from residents about the financial challenges of pet care and the potential need to re-home a pet, according to a release about the report. Other owners are worried about what will happen once they return to work, now that their pets are used to having them at home, with 78% of pet parents noting they are worried about their pet’s anxiety or confusion when they are left behind again. Cats Are Quarantine Heroes, Keeping Their Owners Happy During the Pandemic, Survey Finds And with 50% of pet parents saying having more time with their pet is the best part of working from home, it's not surprising that many owners are looking for ways to stay near their furry friends. According to the report, 60% of pet parents who expect to travel next year want to bring their pets with them. For BETTER CITIES FOR PETS, a program dedicated to making America's cities more pet-friendly, this data is evidence that cities need to continue shifting towards a more pet-friendly environment, especially when it comes to housing. To learn more about how owners and their pets are reacting to the pandemic, you can read the full "Pets in a Pandemic" report.