A recent survey by Rosewood Pet Products revealed that more than half of Brits preferred the company of their four-legged friends than their partner.
Reasons for this included ‘They don’t answer back or mess the house up!’, ‘my dog is less opinionated’ and ‘I can talk as much or as little as I want to my cat without any reply (judgement or opinion) and its wonderful’.
Two thirds of respondents said their pets had a positive impact on their mental health during lockdown; by helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels and encouraging them to stick to a regular routine taking daily walks.
The additional time spent at home was a great bonding experience, with half of respondents claiming they bonded more than expected during lockdown. Pet owners used it as an opportunity to invest in training, more play and teaching their four-legged friends new tricks.
When it comes to noticeable changes in behaviour, two thirds said their pets became more affectionate in lockdown. Other changes included increased appetite and sleeping more than usual.
Pet owners also recounted their tales of hilarious interruptions whilst working from home, including barking, jumping, snoring and toilet accidents during conference calls. One owner revealed that her cat: “Loves to put her chin on the keyboard and press send early!” whilst another said his dog has found a new way to get his attention by “Passing wind during my conference calls.”
Despite the embarrassing disruptions, 80 percent of pet owners admitted they are worried about leaving their pets when they return to work.
Pet behaviourist expert, Rosie Barclay, has written a blog for Rosewood Pet about easing pets out of lockdown. She commented: “Before lockdown our pets were used to a fairly normal daily routine. Then over a matter of days this all changed and our pets had to adapt to many of us being around for a lot longer. Now it’s changing all over again as many of us return back to work and school.
“And it’s not just the daily routines that have changed, their pet parents and human siblings may also have changed as well. It is not an easy time for us humans as we experience an array of emotions that our pets may sense from our change in behaviour; our worried looks and the stress chemistry we produce. We may even look different with our longer hair and mask covered faces.”
Bev Panter, Marketing Director for Rosewood Pet Products said: “We are a nation of pet lovers, so it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that so many people have preferred the company of their pets to their partners during lockdown. The survey results also highlight how important our pets are to us and the positive impact they have on our mental health, particularly in challenging and uncertain times.”