Survey: Pets Are A Source of Comfort During COVID-19

Pets are providing much needed comfort during the coronavirus (COVID-19) stay-at-home orders, according to a survey of 1,000 pet owners conducted by VitusVet, a pet care technology company.

The survey was broken into three parts: interactions with pets during the pandemic, concerns about COVID-19 and pets, and veterinary care-related topics.

"It’s obvious that now more than ever, that pets can serve as a valuable source of connection and comfort for their human companions," said Mark Olcott, DVM, CEO of VitusVet, which is based in Baltimore. "It’s also particularly heartwarming to have more than 900 of the respondents leave a ‘thank you’ note for their vet in the comments section of the survey."

Key findings in each of the categories:

Pet Interactions

  • 52 percent of pet owners said that they are feeling more loved or comforted than usual by their pet
  • 53 percent noted more playtime at home
  • 39 percent of pet owners are going on more frequent dog walks
  • 36 percent of pet owners are taking more photos or videos of pets, while 22 percent said that their pets are making regular appearances in video call with co-workers

COVID-19 Concerns

  • 33 percent of pet owners said that they are not at all concerned about COVID-19 affecting their pets, with 58 percent expressing some concern
  • 21 percent asked whether their dogs can play with other dogs as long as owners practice safe social distance
  • 46 percent asked if the coronavirus sticks to pet hair or fur

Veterinary Services and Pet Care

  • 19 percent of pet owners reported that they conducted a well-check and 6 percent have sought emergency care
  • 82 percent of pet owners said they have a copy of pet records, although 69 percent of owners do not have a pet first aid kit at home