COVID-19 and Dogs
It seems almost everything has been impacted by COVID-19 in the United States. And, the impact on pet households is no different.
According to the American Pet Products Association, close to 11.5 million households have gotten a new pet since the pandemic started. Some humane societies and pet shelters in the US have seen twice the typical number of requests from people to adopt dogs since the pandemic started. The increase is even more surprising in that many households are also reporting increased concerns over financial well being and a desire to conserve money.
The impact of increased adoption has left many shelters and humane societies with empty shelters. While this is great for the newly adopted dogs, some shelters and humane societies fear that it might not be so good after the pandemic. As people have to return to work at a physical location, some new pet owners might not have the time or want the responsibility and cost associated with caring for a pet. That could lead to some being returned to shelters. We are certainly hoping this is not the case. Pet parents need to understand that adoption is a life long commitment and should not be taken lightly. Returning a dog to a shelter causes the dog great sadness, trauma and distress. It might even cost them their lives depending upon the policies of the shelter.
Nonetheless, the increased number of dogs being adopted has increased the demand for almost everything dog related. Have you tried making an appointment with your Veterinarian lately? Chances are you'll wait a lot longer to get an appointment. Demand for dog training has also increased steadily.
Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues across the US as well the rest of the world, the price of dog food and chews is also increasing, among other dog related items. Like most things during COVID-19, there has been a shortage of workers to process meat and other ingredients that go into dog food, especially if you are committed to purchasing US sourced & made chews and food for your dog. At the same time, the increased rate of adoption has increased demand for dog food and chews which has caused prices to increase. How long will these increases last? It's hard to say. We are hoping it's a temporary situation but there's no guarantee. It could be that even when supply increases, the suppliers "refuse" to lower the prices of the raw products. We're hopeful that as the cases of COVID-19 continue to drop and the numbers of vaccinated people continues to rise, prices will begin to normalize while dog "ownership" continues to remain high. The number of pets finding forever homes would be one wonderful outcome from the devastation COVID-19 has had across the country and across the globe. Fingers crossed!