Pet owners paws for thought before returning to work

Half of pet owners are concerned about leaving their pets to go back to work, according to a new study from Co-op Insurance.

As a result of the pandemic, 40% of pet owners say they’ve spent more time with their pets recently than ever before.

The study shows that on average, pet owners have been spending a staggering 77 hours per week with their pets, with 31% saying they’ve in fact spent all day with their beloved companions.

Women in particular have spent more time with their pets with over two fifths (43%) saying this is the case, compared to only a third (35%) of men.

Highlighting the lengths pet owners have been going to during lockdown to show affection for their animals, almost two fifths (39%) have spoiled their furry friends with more treats than usual, spending on average £25 per week.

However, it’s evident that this new routine is causing concern for many adults with almost a fifth (18%) stating that as they go back to work they will spend less time with their pets.

18-34 are the most concerned about the impact returning to work will have on their pets, with four fifths (79%) saying this is the case.

In order to combat this, of those pet owners who work in an office environment almost a third (30%) plan to work from home more going forwards. Over a sixth (17%) intend to ask friends and family members to check in on their pets whilst they are at work and a sixth (15%) say they’ll hire some help.

Andrew Nevitt, Head of Pet Insurance at Co-op said: “During lockdown, owners have spent more time with their pets than ever before. It’s therefore no surprise that so many pet owners are concerned about the impact returning to the office will have on their pets.

“It’s really important that pet owners do what they can to support this transition. Those returning to the office need to take the necessary steps to make sure that their pets are gradually eased back into spending time alone.”

Andrew’s top tips for pet owners heading back to work

  1. Create a new routine such a pre or post work stroll or playtime
  2. Start to make gradual changes to your pet’s routine ahead of going back into the office
  3. If you hire a pet sitter or walker, where possible ask them to start to care for your pet before heading back to the office
  4. Where possible install a webcam for peace of mind whilst you’re away from home
  5. Understand your work’s policy, you may be able to take your pet into work on occasion