How the Pandemic Has Impacted Our Relationship with Pets

Find yourself choosing to stay at home with your pet over going out into the world these days? You aren’t the only one. According to a new survey, 76% of owners who added a pet to their families in the last two years say they prefer spending time with their pet over anyone else. 

The survey, conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital, asked 1,000 pet owners about how their relationship with their animals has changed two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The bond between owners and their pets has only seemed to strengthen in that time, with nearly half (49% of men and 47%) of women admitting that they focused less on dating to spend time with their dog or cat in 2021. Nearly a third shortened or rescheduled their honeymoon in 2021 to spend less time away from their pet. 

The pandemic has also led many pet owners to re-focus on their pet’s health with 95% of respondents reportedly making their pet’s veterinary care a priority this year. That’s a significant bump from the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020 when just 20% of owners were more committed to preventative care check-ups. 

"We are encouraged that pets and their people are closer than ever, and that owners are increasingly finding ways to spend quality time with and ensure their pets get the care they need – whether that's through office visits or new modes of care like telehealth," said Molly McAllister, chief medical officer of Banfield Pet Hospital in a statement. "As the pet-owner bond continues to grow, veterinary professionals have a unique opportunity to play an even more important role in the lives of people, with the ultimate goal of helping the growing number of pets stay happy and healthy."