Covid's Effects on Pets
Fear of Pets Getting Covid
At the beginning of the pandemic, there were a lot of unanswered questions. Worried pet owners feared that their pets might be susceptible to the virus. Worse still, some owners feared their pets could act as Covid reservoirs and pass the virus to vulnerable family members. Recent studies have allayed those fears, demonstrating that domestic animals are highly unlikely to carry or sicken from Covid.
Pets in Lockdown
Quarantine was in many ways a blessing and a curse. We experienced more bonding time, but also more boredom. We experimented with new recipes, but sometimes struggled to find the ingredients at the grocery store. We spent more time outdoors, increasing our levels of exercise, but also found ourselves gaining weight from emotional eating and snacking while binging the latest streamed series. Our pets experiences, as they so often do, reflected our own. On the whole, however, it seems they handled it much better than their human companions.
Pets have grown accustomed to having their families home nearly 24/7 during the pandemic. For puppies, kittens, and other animal babies adopted during lockdown, it is all they have every known. With people returning to work and school, many pets are struggling to cope with the loneliness that a "return to normal" brings for them.
Many pandemic pets were adopted on an impulse when individuals and families were lonely, bored, and stuck at home. This led to fears that once life returned to normal, many of these pets would find themselves back in shelters. Initial signs are good. While surrender rates are rising, the data indicates they returning to pre-pandemic levels, not a huge surge.