Perfect-Pets explores our fascination with four-legged friends to celebrate National Pet Month. There is no doubt that on planet earth we are a community of pet lovers. Whether in the US, UK, Australia, or elsewhere around the globe we truly love our furry friends, and they love us back unconditionally. That’s why when an opportunity arises to celebrate our perfect pets we jump in with all hands, feet, and paws too! Celebrated in April in the UK and May in the US National Pet Month allows pet owners to express just how important our pets are to us.
Over the last two years, since the beginning of the pandemic, pet ownership has soared. Lockdown and stay-at-home orders not only had us cooped up inside but also our dedicated furry companions too. It is no secret that our time at home popularised and encouraged pet ownership on an unprecedented level. Here are some key facts on the rise of pet ownership during 2020/21.
- Pet ownership levels in the UK peaked to a new high of 59% in 2021. With more than half of UK households owning at least one pet in 2020/21. Dogs and cats were the most popular.
- In the UK there are an estimated 12 million dogs and 12 million cats living in homes.
- According to the APPA National Pet Owners survey in the US, 70% of households own a pet which equates to 90.5 million homes. This is a significant jump compared to when records first began in 1988, when 56% of US households owned a pet.
- Dog ownership in the US saw the biggest rise. Almost 9 million dogs have been acquired by households since the start of the pandemic (a number equivalent to the population of York City) bringing the total number of dogs in the US to 108 million (that’s roughly one dog to every three humans in the US).
Covid has not only changed the world around us, it has also changed how we interact with our pets. As Covid restrictions begin to wind down around the world we can try to reminisce with a half-hearted smile and appreciate the time that was spent at home with them.
Research shows just how important of a crutch our pets were to us during the pandemic. For many, they helped buffer the misery of isolation and disconnect from loved ones and daily routines. In addition, not only were our pets great companions, they also served as a social catalyst.
In places where lockdown rules were more severe pet owners were given a small window of freedom to walk their dogs outside in the fresh air potentially allowing socially-distanced interaction with others.
As pet owners reluctantly go back to their working lives in the office, and the kids are back in school, where does this leave our beloved feline or faithful dog? Unfortunately, for many, at home alone waiting for their owners to return.
The thought of leaving a loyal pet alone, in some cases has led to pet owners refusing to go back to working in the office. In a survey by Honest Paws 67% of dog owners said they would consider switching jobs if they could no longer work remotely full-time.
Many cited that the emphasis on emotional and physical wellbeing and the flexibility to work from home prompted them to take midday walks with their four-legged friend and that this change in lifestyle was now a priority.
Workers are becoming more aware of their mental health and requesting hybrid working styles because quite simply their pets have been a lifeline for them. This has led to a new trend where pet owners seek work environments that have friendly pet policies and flexible working arrangements.
So, as we celebrate National Pet Month let us not forget just how important our pets are to us. They give us comfort, peace of mind, and companionship, and they encourage us to grow, expand and demand more for ourselves which makes them the perfect pets we care for and love.
If you would like a helping hand with your pet care needs look no further. Perfect-Pets has a large selection of books that cover general care for the most popular dog and cat breeds, as well as books on basic first aid, dog rescue, and dog training. With over 50 titles available there is a Perfect-Pets book for a variety of questions and concerns. Visit: www.perfect-pets.org.