You may have heard of the “Pandemic Puppy” phenomenon.
Newly released evidence has now confirmed what many people suspected: the COVID‐19 pandemic has driven a high demand for pets, especially puppies.
Early findings from a study being funded by the Animal Welfare Foundation and conducted by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) confirm several factors that have driven the desire for puppies, including a ‘need for something happy to focus on’ during lockdown restrictions, a need to improve mental health, as well as a reason to increase exercise levels.
Starting with the cost of getting your new pet. The price of pets in general has risen during the pandemic. During the Vet’s Virtual Congress 2021 (27 February), the researchers said demand has increased prices for puppies by as much as 62 percent with some vets reporting price inflation of around 120 percent!
Follow these tips for pet-owners so you can sit back and enjoy the sloppy puppy kisses without worrying about your bank account.
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Keep Your Pets Healthy
Just like you try to keep any other member of your family in prime health, your new addition will need the same consideration. One of the biggest expenses for pets is treatments for when they are sick.
There are some things you can do to maintain their health and reduce their risk of illness:
– An overweight pet is more likely to get diabetes and other ailments. Do your best to maintain their weight by feeding them the recommended amount for their weight and also avoid giving them table scraps. Some fruits and veggies are fine for a little nutritious nibble, but always check to make sure they’re safe. Even foods you wouldn’t suspect, like grapes, can make a dog very sick!
– Puppy proof your home and check your houseplants. Some of the beautiful greenery that coexists in your space can be extremely toxic to pets. The same goes with some cleaning products. Just like you might do before bringing home a human baby, check your home to make sure there aren’t any potential dangers
- Exercise is also important. Take your dog for a walk every day for at least 45 minutes. The great thing about this is that it will also keep you in shape, since you will be exercising right along with them.
- Don’t forget their pearly whites. A lot of pet owners forget about mouth care. Pets need clean teeth too. You can brush their teeth and check them for irritation or damaged teeth on a regular basis. Gum disease can be a serious problem that can lead to poor health and expensive vet visits.
Get Coverage for those Unforeseeable Situations
When something is wrong with your new furry family member, it can often be crippling financially. That’s why investing in pet insurance can help protect you from the financial strain of pet illness and injury. Contact a pet insurance provider like Bivvy and you can get insurance quickly and easily online. Although you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, it’s much less than those large unexpected expenses (you’ll actually save money over time).
Regular Check-ups — Not Just for Humans
Yes, going to the vet can be expensive. What’s the most costly to a pet owner is how much treatments and medication can cost for illnesses. Just like you visit your doctor for routine health checks, visiting the vet for a checkup on a regular basis can help you maintain their health by providing advice and guidance. Your pet’s health will be monitored closely, and you can prevent serious problems from developing or worsening and hopefully you’ll catch any issues early.
Choose Used Toys and Supplies
Scour your local buy and sell social media pages, garage sales, flea markets, and other places where used goods are sold. Look for new or gently used and of course make sure they’re safe for your pet. The advantage is that people buy things that their pets don’t end up liking or playing with, and they are willing to part with them at a low cost. This could be toys, bowls, leashes, and really any other piece of equipment. It’s good for your pockets and for the planet!
Buy Supplies in Bulk
It’s always better to buy your pet supplies, especially food, in bulk. Larger bags are always cheaper by the pound, but just make sure that you buy an amount that will still be fresh when your pet is finished getting through it. If you are worried about freshness, then transfer the food to an airtight container. This will keep it fresh longer than the bag, which will save you money since you won’t be wasting any of the food. You can even buy your food with a friend or family member if they give their pets the same brand. Always keep an eye out for sales. There are also pet stores that offer points for free bags after you’ve purchased a certain amount.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
The RVC study found that prices for puppies rose from an average of £955.43 per puppy to £1549.71, with a big variation across breeds.
Some examples of inflated prices include French Bulldogs, Pugs and trendy crossbreeds – with breeding female dogs selling for up to £15,000; dachshunds at £3000–£4000 each; collie puppies for £2600 each; non‐pedigree kittens selling for £1000 each and pedigree kittens for £2000; and pet rabbits selling at £75 each.
So if you don’t have a pawed companion during these hard times, but you’re considering getting one, check out your local shelters, or use apps/websites like Petfinder or Pet Adoption UK first.
Not only are you doing a good thing by supporting the domestic pet population in your local area and possibly saving an animal’s life, they’re some of the most quirky, loyal, unique, and loving pets around.