As much as humans might hate the COVID-19 pandemic, an alternate viewpoint may be gaining ground among other family members living in the same house.
Consider the outlook of a dog:
You mean our bipedal benefactors don’t have to leave us every day to go to work?
They have more time to give us attention?
This year might even be the best ever for canine companionship. More dogs are finding homes. Fewer are left at shelters. The dog economy is booming, especially for a product that sums up the whole story.
Sales have increased to $24 million for the 24 weeks ending Aug. 15, up 202% from the same period last year, according to Nielsen research.
“There were more people adopting puppies, and so there were more people doing house-training,” said Pam Runquist, executive director of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “I think also, in places like New York City, people were not wanting to go outside and were utilizing those methods.”
The maker of a dog diaper in Pennsylvania called the PeeKeeper is among those who say they’ve been “busier than ever,” part of a larger social trade-off. Instead of going out and interacting at work with human colleagues, people are forced to stay home and fight persistent loneliness with man’s best friend.
This has led to a bull run for the dog market. For the diaper sellers, that includes new owners of so-called pandemic pooches, as well as sick or elderly dogs, said Lisa Williams, president of PeeKeeper LLC.
Want more evidence we’ve entered the dog days of this never-ending pandemic? There are surges in vet visits, rising sales of leashes and even a spike in dog-buying scams. Twenty percent of respondents to a Nielsen survey in July said they adopted one or more dogs or cats between March and June, up from less than 5% over the same time last year.
Dog fostering and adoption rise
Placements of low-shedding doodle hybrid breeds have climbed almost 50% year-over-year, according to PuppySpot, a service that helps responsible breeders place their puppies.
At shelters, COVID-19 precautions restricted public visits starting in March, which led to fewer dogs entering them and even decreased adoptions in some areas, according to data cited by the Humane Society. But that also turned out to be good news for dogs.
Instead of housing pups and cats, shelters instead transitioned “almost solely to placement of animals into foster homes,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Block said the rise of animals in new foster homes “has been significant.”
In one case, an 8-year-old chihuahua-pug mix in Indiana named Dominic had been having a hard time. Dropped over a fence in a yard, he developed a bulging eye and was brought to an emergency vet facility.