Over the last few months, veterinary clinics and boarding pet resorts have seen a huge spike in pet reservations and appointments. Recently, many people have been adopting puppies, kittens and even older animals, especially during the pandemic.
This abrupt spike in adoptions has caused many veterinary offices to be overbooked and extremely busy on weekends, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
During the COVID-19 quarantine, people were trapped inside their homes for weeks. Some had families, while many did not, especially some college students who live on their own. To help cope with the stress and anxiety induced lockdown, many adopted young puppies and kittens, including myself.
In a survey conducted by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, about 80 percent of pet owners stated that their pets gave them comfort during a lonely quarantine while 54 percent stated that their pets helped them connect with people.
Currently, many vet clinics have seen a rise in pet boardings and appointments, especially on the weekends and holidays, with about 50 to 100 pet owners coming in daily. Many of these dogs coming in are 1-year-old dogs, born around the time the shut down had taken place.
When asked about the recent pet boarding uptike, Grand Montecito Veterinary Clinic worker Veronica Leon stated, “In the age range for pets coming in, it’s mostly 1-10 years, especially 1-5 so they all were born around our shut down time.”
With the reservations and appointment spots filling, the wait times at clinics are nearly three times what they were before, with some vet offices no longer taking new patients. Another reason, besides a rise in puppy adoptions, is that many pet owners are discovering issues that their pets develop as they spend more time at home.
In the article “Bonding with your furbaby during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Erica Yu-B outlines ways to bond and maintain a healthy lifestyle with your pet, such as walking, training and playing with them.
These ideas are the basics of owning a pet, but for many, it can give them a break from schoolwork, job struggles and outside influences. Animals allow busy people, especially college students, a break from reality, giving them a safe space to find comfort in.
While many may not be able to afford a pet, even taking in a betta fish or small lizard can help provide comfort and take a person’s mind off of the chaos happening all around them.
Owning a pet has been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress levels, something that this ongoing pandemic has triggered in several people. Dogs are not only able to sense when their human’s anxiety is rising, but offer comfort and companionship.
“Some people had lived alone during the pandemic or might have lost a loved one due to COVID-19, and wanting a puppy or animal to keep them company offers great comfort,” Leon said.
The pandemic has left many feeling lost and stressed out, especially those that are completely on their own. A pet helps fill that void, allowing for a companionship that will transcend this pandemic, something that is not a negative for vet clinics and adoption centers here in Las Vegas.