If a feel-good story has surfaced during the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s the connection between people and their pet companions. With adoptions soaring the past several months and Americans spending more time at home with their four-legged companions, pet parents say the pandemic has shed new light on how much their pets mean to them – so much that they are impacting major decisions – according to a recent survey by Freshpet, the first-to-market-leader in fresh pet food.
The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll, on behalf of Freshpet, from July 16-20, 2020. The survey polled 1,378 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who are pet parents (own a cat(s) and/or dog(s)). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
More than four in five American pet parents (83 percent) say that spending time with their cat and/or dog during lockdown improved their mood more than online shopping or spending time with a significant other.
Over half of American pet parents (55 percent) say they will feel guilty for leaving their pets home when they go back to work away from home.
“We’re part of their pack, so when someone is missing, pets feel like the pack is not as strong and safe as it can be,” said Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo, DVM, VP of Research and Development at Freshpet. “We need to realize when we return to the office, pets don’t know how long we’ll be away for — or even if we’ll come back.”
According to Perez-Camargo, signs of separation anxiety include dogs licking their lips or paws repeatedly, and cats having accidents outside their litter boxes or demonstrating destructive behavior.
Over two in five female pet parents (44 percent) would choose to quarantine with their cat/dog if there was a second wave of COVID-19 lockdown and they had to choose one companion to stay home with, while nearly half of male pet parents (47 percent) would choose their significant other.
1 out of 10 American pet parents (13 percent) have made a career change—found a job with more flexible hours, switched to remote working, found a new job, etc.—as a result of having a pet during the lockdown.
About Freshpet Freshpet’s mission is to improve the lives of dogs and cats through the power of fresh, real food. Freshpet foods are blends of fresh meats, vegetables and fruits farmed locally and made at our Kitchens in Bethlehem, PA. We thoughtfully prepare our foods using natural ingredients, cooking them in small batches at lower temperatures to preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients. Freshpet foods and treats are kept refrigerated from the moment they are made until they arrive at Freshpet Fridges in your local market.
Our foods are available in select mass, grocery (including online), natural food, club, and pet specialty retailers across the United States, Canada, and Europe. From the care we take to source our ingredients and make our food, to the moment it reaches your home, our integrity, transparency and social responsibility are the way we like to run our business.