Don’t Surrender! Please Keep Your Pandemic Pets

Did you know that during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, 23 million US households got a new pet – that’s one in five households across America!*

Kids and dog

Despite the recent increase in COVID numbers, life is back to normal for many – with more people going back to work, fewer working from home, more people taking vacations and traveling.

The problem is that these new “pandemic pets”, especially puppies, got used to having people around 24/7. They were never short of attention with lots of active playtime.

Now that their humans have gone back to work and kids have gone back to school (for the moment at least!), these pets can develop some undesirable behaviors out of boredom and a lack of attention. Don’t be tempted to surrender this pet, work with them, train them…just don’t give up on them.

Most Pandemic Pets are Staying Home!

The good news is, data from an ASPCA survey conducted in May 2021, found that the vast majority of new pet owners still have the animal they adopted during the pandemic in their home — 90% for dogs and 85% for cats — and are not considering rehoming in the near future.

People and pets are better when they’re together. We should do what we can to make sure these relationships that were important to us last year are not discarded because of inconvenience. The ASPCA says, “Despite alarmist headlines tied to regional reports of a surge in owner surrenders, this trend is not currently evident on a national level with many organizations simply seeing a return to pre-pandemic operations and intake.”

Even though there isn’t a national surge in pet surrenders at the moment, there are a number of reasons that could  make it difficult for someone to keep a pet due to factors outside their control. If your routine has to change, try your best to keep to your pet’s normal routine as much as possible. If you have to leave a pet at home, have a neighbor or friend drop by while you are during out the first few weeks, or when the weather cools down, hire a dog walker.

The ASPCA encourages any pet owner who may be considering rehoming their pet to enlist the support of a friend or neighbor—or to reach out to a shelter or rescue organization in their area, as the staff can often provide advice and assistance.

Contact Your Vet Today

If you are concerned about your dog experiencing separation anxiety when routines change, here are some ideas from the ASPCA to help ease the transition. Tip #7 on their list talks about working with certified professionals to address your pet’s stress – animal behaviorists, veterinary behaviorists, or certified professional dog trainers can help. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to us, or your own veterinarian. Please call 480.774.6995 to schedule an appointment with Compassionate Animal Care today.


* According to data from the ASPCA

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