Update on Pandemic Pets

Families/Kids Reopening

Nerdy Girl Lauren’s family recently added a puppy to the mix, and it got us wondering about the current situation regarding pets adopted during the pandemic.

First the good news!

🐶 According to this Time article, both employers and employees are now taking a hard look at what can be done to make pets a part of doing business.

“Now, companies are searching for solutions that make both workers and pets happy. In Banfield’s survey of 500 C-suite executives, half said they planned to start allowing pets in the workplace, joining major companies like Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s, which have long touted their pet-friendly corporate spaces. At least 59% of the executives surveyed said they were implementing new pet-friendly policies because of employee requests.”

🐕 This article from Fortune profiles a number of “pet friendly” companies and discusses the benefits businesses can glean from implementing these policies.

“More and more frequently, employers and employees are discovering that pets at the workplace make them happier, lower stress levels, and create a comfortable, flexible environment,” said the University of Southern California’s Master of Science in Applied Psychology program in a blog post. “Pets can create camaraderie within the workplace and trigger interactions that may not have happened without them.”

😻 Interestingly, the “pandemic pet” phenomenon is not a new one. This Time article reports that:

More than 12 million American households have gotten a pet in the time since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, according to the American Pet Products Association. The growth in pandemic-era pet adoption continues the trend of Americans turning to their pets for companionship in tough times. As TIME put it in a 1974 cover story, “During wars, insurrections and depressions, particularly, pet ownership seems to proliferate. Even in today’s recession-inflation battered economy, when the care and feeding of pets would seem an exorbitant load on the family budget, there are more and more pet owners in the U.S.—deriving, perhaps, psychological sustenance from what Kipling called the dog’s ‘love unflinching that cannot lie.’”

🐾 There are lots of options and resources available to help people navigate keeping their newly-acquired family members after return to work and school. This Yahoo article has some super helpful ideas like these from Nicole Ellis, a dog trainer and animal lifestyle expert:

“We’re getting up later, not commuting, our pets are probably getting fed later and walked at different times, so start to adjust it closer to your work routine,” she said.

“If we start getting up a little earlier, and feeding them closer to when they’re going to be fed, it’s going to make these changes a little easier. Ease into changing an evening walk time and adjusting dinner time.”

Also, try to give dogs some exercise and mental stimulation before leaving — walking, playing, training, perhaps a puzzle game. The owners should be low-key in their departure and return, Ellis said.”

☑️ Be sure to check out the “dos and don’ts” from our previous post on pandemic pets for some practical, real-life suggestions for transitioning back to work/school with your pet(s).

😢 Now for the bad news. . .

Pandemic pets being returned is still very much a problem in the U.S. according to this Fortune article.

“Shelters in New York and Los Angeles are nearing capacity as more and more people who got pets during the pandemic are dumping them as the world inches back to normal.

Animal Care Centers of NYC saw 1,393 animals brought to them last month, more than twice the number of dogs and cats surrendered in February. Exact numbers weren’t available in Los Angeles, but Reuters reports the trend is on the rise there as well.”

💕 Those Nerdy Girls love our furry family members, and we know all of you do as well.

Stay safe! Stay sane! Stay kind! Hug your pet(s)!

Those Nerdy Girls

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