At a time of social distancing, more people have been relying on pets for comfort and companionship. In fact, according to a survey by Lombardo Homes in Shelby Township, Mich., 94 percent of pet owners said that their pet has been a source of emotional support throughout this stressful period.
For those who didn’t have a pet prior to the pandemic—or those who just wanted an additional furry friend—the option to adopt became quite appealing. This proved to be especially true in Oakland, Calif., according to the survey, which analyzed Google search trends on the topic.
“With a 55 percent increase in adoption-related search terms, Oakland, ranks first,” Lombardo Homes officials reported on its website. “But Oakland isn’t the only California city whose residents have shown a renewed interest in pet adoption during this period: the top three cities most interested in adoption are all in California. San Jose ranked second with a 48 percent increase in adoption-related searches, followed by Los Angeles, which saw a 44 percent increase.”
So, which other cities are most interested in welcoming a new pet into their family’s home during the pandemic? Continuing on with fourth place is Arlington, Texas, at a 43 percent increase; Miami (41 percent); Fresno, Calif., (41 percent); New York (38 percent); Denver (36 percent); Long Beach, Calif., (36 percent); and Chicago (35 percent). San Francisco missed the top 10 by a hair, ranking No. 11 at 34 percent.
“Without a doubt, living with a pet during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine has been a positive experience,” officials said. “But are our pets happy with us spending more time at home? According to our research, yes: An overwhelming majority of respondents believe that their pet has enjoyed having them home. That’s no surprise, seeing as how 64 percent of pet owners have used the extra time together to bond with their furry companions, teaching them new tricks and going on more walks. More than half (53 percent) say they’ve even spent more money than usual on their pet during this time, most often on food, treats and toys.”
However, it’s not all smooth sailing, officials said. More than half of pet owners have had to delay necessary health-related appointments for their pet, and places that they normally visit together have been widely inaccessible during this time, according to officials.
In addition, six out of 10 pet owners reported work disruptions because of their pets and almost half have felt frustrated or annoyed with their pet during shelter-in-place, officials noted.
Still, such challenges seem to pale as our furry friends curl up beside (or on) us and we feel their pure love emanating from within.