Isolation has given us heaps of spare time making some feel lonely around their houses. One way to fix this is a furry friend… or maybe not so furry.
The demand for pets has sky rocketed since Lockdown as the Kennel Club group says it has seen a 180% in puppy enquires and this is understandable as working from home and children off school is the perfect formula for a happy puppy.
UK pet ownership
The chart below shows the sudden increase in pet ownership in the UK in 2020/2021, surging to 59% of homes now owning at least one pet.
Between 2001 and 2019, pet ownership in the UK has been relatively steady and remained below the 50% marker. However, as the chart above shows, in 2020/2021 pet ownership spiked well over the 50% mark, which is an unprecedented all-time high. This is almost certainly due to the pandemic.
So in 202/21 more than half of UK households own at least one pet with dogs and cats still the most common household pets. An estimated 12 million dogs and 12 million cats now live in homes. Since 2019, only Germany has more dogs per population than the UK
UK consumer spending on pets reachs 8 Billion pounds
More pets mean more spending on items such as pet food, toys, grooming, veterinary checks, insurance and more. In 2020 pet owners in the UK spent almost eight billion British pounds on pet-related products and services, almost 3 times more than we spent in 2005, which was a mere 2.9 billion British pounds.
There are 205 known breeds of dogs
The American Kennel Club has registered 205 breeds of dog, being the highest yet meaning we have never been more spoilt for choice for what breed of puppy we want. People are paying a fortune for a mixed breed like a chi poo or a rare Basenji and the cooler the breed, the bigger the price tag.
Alternatively whilst binge watching Tiger King, maybe you were weirdly inspired to invest in an exotic pet.A tiger may not fit in a London flat but there is still a plethora of unusual pets such as African Pygmy Hedgehogs, sugar gliders and Bearded Dragons that are far more exciting than a hamster and feasible to own.
However, such a commitment requires a lot of research, for example, hedgehogs are nocturnal, certain reptiles need a specific cage set at a specific temperature.
Most importantly any of these animals need to be loved and cared for longer than the lockdown, many are concerned that the Pandemic puppy will be the new Dog for Christmas.
More than ever, animals in shelters need rescuing and adopting a pet is always the best way to gain a furry friend, but remember, it's not just dogs that need a new home; rabbits, reptiles and cats are all available to rescue.