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Who’s a good boy? Pet owners pamper their dogs amid COVID-19 pandemic

20200826 Dog owner stock
Most American pet parents said spending time with their four-legged companion improved their well-being during lockdown. Image: IStock.com/PeopleImages

Millions of people around the world have combated their COVID-19-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, revealed that most American pet parents or 80% of those surveyed said 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 or 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 organizations have warned about the financial cost of this COVID-19-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 their spending has not been influenced by the state of the economy during the pandemic.

More than 3 in 5 owners claimed 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 of 50% over the last months for “best dog homemade dog food” searches and an upward trend of 40% for “recipes for homemade dog food.”

“Pets can get bored with their food. Imagine if you ate the same dry food for breakfast and dinner day after day,” Freshpet’s top veterinarian Gerardi Perez-Camargo said in a statement. “Now and then, it’s a good idea to mix it up and provide some variety.” CC

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