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Pets And Pet Spending During The Pandemic – A Consult Report


The COVID-19 crisis deepened the bond between Americans and their pets, and a majority of those who acquired new pets during the pandemic did so in part from loneliness. And most pet owners by far would go to the mat to save their pets, regardless of the medical cost of doing so.

Those are among the key findings from the first comprehensive survey, by, of how people have treated, and felt about, their pets during the pandemic.

The poll of 2,200 Americans, including 1,384 pet owners, was conducted in early March by Morning Consult, and probed not only changes to America’s relationships to its pets during COVID-19 but to what is spent on them and how and why new animal companions were acquired.

We also wanted to know what people were willing to spend on their pets’ medical care and the degree to which they trusted their vets’ advice. Also important was to probe pet owners’ knowledge about pet insurance — the health-care coverage whose annual dollar sales have been growing annually by double digit percentages in recent years — and to detail where they bought the policies.

The table of contents below contains five key findings from our study.

Here is a brief overview of the results:

  • The pandemic has stepped up how much Americans cherish their pets. Six in ten reported valuing their animal companions more, and half said they were being more affectionate to them now.
  • More than half of people who got a new pet during the pandemic cite loneliness as a reason.
  • More than a third of new pets were acquired at shelters, followed by breeders and pet stores. For all the ways to get a pet, satisfaction was high and problems were low.
  • Veterinarians are trusted pet-care partners, with more than two-thirds of owners saying they’d follow their vet’s advice on treatment.
  • Pet owners would spend big to save their animal, with two-thirds saying they’d take any measure to save its life, regardless of cost. Eight in ten would take any measure they could afford.
  • Most respondents said they were familiar with pet insurance, but sizeable minorities of those people said policies reimburse for expenses they rarely if ever cover.

Since shelters were the most popular places to get a new pet — and a highly satisfying source, according to survey respondents — we also teamed up with the crowdsourced ratings service Yelp to help would-be pet owners find a great place to adopt an animal.

We identified businesses in the Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption categories, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the enthusiasm and total volume of reviews for them.

Look for the shelter in your state that made the list:

Shelter Name City State
Feline Rescue Saint Paul MN
Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic Springfield MO
Southern Pines Animal Shelter Hattiesburg MS
Tailwaggers Whitefish MT
Humane Society of Charlotte Charlotte NC
Natural Pet Center Fargo ND
Felius Omaha NE
Mary’s Dogs Rescue & Adoption Northwood NH
Howling Woods Farms Jackson NJ
Boofy’s Best for Pets Albuquerque NM
Spoiled Pup Las Vegas NV
AMA Animal Rescue Brooklyn NY
Gem City Café Dayton OH
A1 Pet Emporium Oklahoma City OK
Fido’s Tap House Tigard OR
Kawaii Kitty Cafe Philadelphia PA
Potter League for Animals Middletown RI
Pounce Cat Cafe Charleston SC
Western Hills Humane Society Spearfish SD
Crossroads Pets – Shop & Adopt Nashville TN
Austin Pets Alive! Thrift – Burnet Austin TX
Best Friends Animal Society Kanab UT
Chico’s Natural Pet Market Falls Church VA
Windham County Humane Society Brattleboro VT
Best Friends Rodent Rescue Everett WA
Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee WI
Give Purrs a Chance Berkeley Springs WV
Herding Rescue Dogs of Wyoming Sheridan WY
Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Shelter Palmer AK
Greater Huntsville Humane Society Huntsville AL
Humane Society of Clark Arkadelphia AR
Home Fur Good Phoenix AZ
Ken-Mar Rescue Los Angeles CA
Denver Cat Company Denver CO
Mew Haven Cat Cafe New Haven CT
Crumbs & Whiskers | A Cat Cafe Experience Washington DC
Delaware Humane Association Wimington DE
Good Luck Cat Cafe Fort Lauderdale FL
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary Locust Grove GA
Lanai Cat Sanctuary Lanai City HI
Animal Rescue League of Iowa Des Moines IA
Mountain Humane Hailey ID
One Tail at a Time Chicago IL
IndyHumane Indianapolis IN
All Paws Pet Center Wichita KS
Kentucky Humane Society Louisville KY
Villalobos Rescue Center New Orleans LA
Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter Brighton MA
Squeals on Wheels Petting Zoo Potomac MD
Ann-imals Pet Supply Store York ME
New Beginnings Animal Rescue Royal Oak



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