Pets and the COVID-19 Pandemic
After an extensive search through industry-related websites and media platforms, insights regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting pets in the US do not appear to be available in the public domain. However, the research team was able to gather valuable insights about COVID-19 and the pets industry in general.
- Dogs or cats cannot be infected with COVID-19. However, the virus can be spread to pets through touch and be transmitted to another person.
- Pet support services are required in poor and underserved communities. Families with low incomes are experiencing financial hardships due to unpaid leave. Consequently, many are experiencing difficulties providing for their pets.
- Despite pets not being at risk of getting COVID-19, pet owners should put plans in place for animal care in the event there is an emergency. Some of the things to consider include what the pet will require in the event one is quarantined, such as supplies, indoor games, and a potty.
- If pet owners have COVID-19, the CDC recommends that they avoid direct contact or maintain separation with their pets. Direct contact includes, sharing food, kissing, snuggling, and petting.
- COVID-19 will impact the pet industry in various ways. For instance, pet retailers will experience increased sales as people stock up for their pets. On the other hand, pet care services such as veterinary services will be adversely affected.
- In addition, animal shelters might need to take in more pets since there are people who have the virus and no family or friends to look after their pets.
After a thorough search, we did not find any data-supported insights surrounding how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting pets in the US. We first attempted to look at media platforms and industry sites, such as San Diego Human Society, Pet Products News, and Trib Live but to no avail. Instead, these sites focused on how pet owners are adjusting during the outbreak, the fact that there is no evidence in the US that the virus can be transmitted to pets, and the different ways of setting up emergency plans for pets.
We then attempted to look at the social media pages of pet influencers, such as Loki the Wolfdog, Nala the Cat, and Marnie The Dog. We hoped that we could find insights on how COVID-19 is impacting pets from these influencers but to no avail. Instead, the influencers only made posts about their pets lacking exercise and attention due to self-quarantine. For this reason, we made the assumption that insights regarding the impact of COVID-19 on pets in the US are not available in the public domain.