Ask any pet owner, and they’ll tell you that it’s almost impossible to look at their pet and not feel happy. It’s true: Studies have shown that just a little bit of love from our furry friends increases oxytocin, reduces anxiety, and helps quell depression. That love is more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, when we surveyed pet owners across the country, 94 percent said that their pet has been a source of emotional support throughout this stressful period.
It’s no wonder that so many Americans have considered welcoming a new pet into their family’s home during these trying times. Which cities are the most interested in doing so? We analyzed Google search trends to find out.
With a 55 percent increase in adoption-related search terms, Oakland, California ranks first. But Oakland isn’t the only California city whose residents have shown a renewed interest in pet adoption during this period: the top three cities most interested in adoption are all in California. San Jose ranked second with a 48 percent increase in adoption-related searches, followed by Los Angeles, which saw a 44 percent increase.
Rounding out the top ten cities are Arlington (43% increase), Miami (41% increase), Fresno (41% increase), New York (38% increase), Denver (36% increase), Long Beach (36% increase), and Chicago (35% increase).
With searches increasing by 28 percent, San Antonio ranks 20th, followed by Sacramento (28% increase), Boston (27% increase), and Phoenix (26% increase). Seeing just a 26 percent increase in interest, San Diego ranks last at number 25.
But it’s not just first-time pet owners looking to adopt – many who already have at least one pet are looking to grow their pack. When we surveyed pet owners across the country, two in five said that they have considered adopting during Covid-19. Of those, over half were interested in a dog while just 21 percent considered a cat.
Without a doubt, living with a pet during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine has been a positive experience. But are our pets happy with us spending more time at home?
According to our research, yes: An overwhelming majority of respondents believe that their pet has enjoyed having them home. That’s no surprise, seeing as how 64 percent of pet owners have used the extra time together to bond with their furry companions, teaching them new tricks and going on more walks. More than half (53%) say they’ve even spent more money than usual on their pet during this time, most often on food, treats, and toys.
It’s not all smooth sailing, though. More than half say they have had to delay necessary health-related appointments for their pet and that places they normally visit together have been widely inaccessible during this time.
In addition, six out of ten pet owners report work disruptions because of their pets and almost half have felt frustrated or annoyed with their pet during quarantine.
Using the Google AdWords platform, we analyzed search volume trends for more than 5,300 terms related to pet adoption in 50 cities nationwide between January and June 2020, the most recent data available.
From July 9 to July 10, 2020, we surveyed 1,011 people to learn about what it was like to live with and care for a pet during Covid-19. Survey respondents were an average of 36 years old; 51% were male, 49% were female. 79% of respondents owned a dog, 46% owned a cat, and 50% said they owned another type of pet.
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