The increasingly endemic pandemic seems to have continued fueling U.S. pet ownership in 2021. In November 2021, 14% of survey respondents said that COVID-19 led to them getting a new pet, growing from 10% in late 2020 and 6% in June 2020. Nevertheless, some pet owners did have to give up their animals because of the pandemic. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) report “COVID-19 Pulse Study: Pet Ownership During the Pandemic” examined these survey results.
Twice as many survey participants said that the pandemic had a positive effect on their pet ownership as negative. However, the influence of the pandemic differed by age and economic groups. Baby boomers’ pet ownership was least affected by the pandemic. Only 5% if that age group got a new pet due to COVID-19, according to the survey. For Generation X, pet ownership grew 13%. The younger demographic groups saw the greatest gains in pet ownership. Millennials increased by 24% and Gen Z by 26%.
Economic and social factors also influenced which people acquired new pets. Families with young children pick up more pets, as did urban households and those earning higher than average incomes.
Pet ownership increase by location
Urban – 20%
Suburban – 11%
Rural – 13%
Among survey respondents with children, 25% got a new pet compared to 9% among those without children. Of pet owners making less that US$50,000 per year, 12% brought new pets into their homes. For those making over US$100,000, that rate grew to 18%, with those earning intermediate incomes as 16%.
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as a senior reporter for WATT Global Media. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Live Science, Discovery News, Honduras Weekly, Global Journalist and other outlets. He holds an M.A. in journalism and an M.S. in natural resources, both from the University of Missouri - Columbia, along with a bachelor's degree in biology.
Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007, where he coordinated with the town government of Moroceli to organize a municipal trash collection system, taught environmental science, translated for medical brigades and facilitated sustainable agriculture, along with other projects.
Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
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