Research reveals concern our pets wont cope after lockdown is lifted

Over a third of pet owners are concerned that their pet may not be able to cope once lockdown is lifted, according to new research.

With the nation spending more time at home than ever due to the national lockdown, pet owners are starting to notice a positive difference in their furry friends’ demeanour and general happiness – whilst indifferent cats (58%) seems to be finding the increased attention more difficult, two thirds say their dogs are happier since the UK lockdown began.

Despite this, there are rising concerns about how pets might cope when life eventually goes back to normal, with almost a third of pet owners saying they’re worried their pet may not be able to cope once lockdown is lifted, after getting used to them being around 24/7.

According to the research of over 1,000 UK dog and cat owners commissioned by Natures Menu, over two thirds of dog and cat owners admit they’re giving their pets more attention since lockdown began on 23rd March, with dogs (70%) getting more attention than cats (63%).

And whilst 1 in 10 cat and dog owners say their pet has put on weight since UK lockdown began, 48% say they’ve become more focussed on their pet’s health since UK lockdown began, with over a third saying the main reason being Covid-19.

Over half of dog and cat owners have also found creative ways of spending time and combatting lockdown boredom with their pets during self-isolation, including trying new food (23%), getting family, friends and colleagues to speak to their pet on video calls (19%) and teaching them new tricks (17%). One in 6 have even gone as far as reading to them.

But it’s not just out pets who are enjoying UK lockdown. 43% of pet owners also say that despite the current climate, that their mental health is currently positive – putting this down to spending more time with their pet.

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager at Natures Menu, said: “It’s great to see the positive impact pets are having on our mental wellbeing, and how our ability to spend quality time with them has greatly improved due to the current situation. However, it’s also good to see that pet owners are preparing themselves now for the potential issues that their pets might face, when lockdown is eventually lifted.

“Cats are of course much more independent and our research back this, so owners will probably find this applies more to dogs. Start to leave them in a separate room, even whilst you’re still at home, and gradually increase the time you do this. Chewing also releases natural pheromones which leads to relaxes behaviour, as does food, so invest in some appropriate toys and nutritious treats so you have something ready to entertain them. Simply introducing a few measures now, can ensure a smooth and gradual transition so they can cope with your increased absence in the coming months.”

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