The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association has released its COVID-19 Pet Survey, which has confirmed a staggering rise in pet acquisition.
Key findings from the survey included:
- Over one-third (35%) of young adults (aged 24-35) have become pet owners, or are planning to add a pet to their families;
- 2.1 million (19%) collected a new pet in lockdown; and
- 1.8m (16%) are planning to add a pet to their household.
Although this research highlights a spike among younger owners, 11% of all households have already welcomed a new pet and 10% plan to do so. Looking at all new pet owners, 15% work and 20% have children.
Londoners are the most likely to have added a pet to their family with almost one in five (18%) having picked up a pet and 13% planning to make the change.
Nicole Paley, PFMA’s deputy chief executive, said: “With millions working from home or furloughed from their jobs, many have clearly considered the numerous benefits of pet ownership. Now, more than ever, we know that the companionship and joy pets can bring to people’s lives shouldn’t be under-estimated.
“However, we’re keen to highlight the long-term responsibilities of bringing a pet into your life. This is an unprecedented period with unusual working conditions. New owners need to seriously think about future possible obstacles that could make life with a pet slightly more challenging. Owners need to consider their pet when thinking about return to work plans, any possible future hit on finances, less time available and the possibility of separation anxiety for their pet.”
Ms Paley said that when looking for a new addition, families need to do lots of research.
She added: “Sadly, there are unscrupulous breeders out there who are willing to take advantage of the rising demand. And, as highlighted by Lucy’s Law, it is so important to buy from a recognised breeder and please don’t forget the importance of rehoming too.”