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
November 18, 2020 05:34 PM
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Credit: 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.

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.

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.