How Has the Pandemic Affected Your Pet?

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

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You might think the pandemic has been terrible for everyone, including pets. But take a second and think — COVID-19 might be the Year of Your Pet, and here's why.

Plus, read on for more information on how you can benefit from the pet frenzy that gripped the U.S. during the pandemic.

You Can Benefit with PAWZ

Pets relieve stress and isolation, and more time spent with pets means increased attention to pets' needs. Ultimately, this translates to increased spending on pets. PAWZ, the ProShares pet ETF, is the first ETF that allows investors to capitalize on people's passion for their pets. Check out a few fast facts: 

  • Seven out of 10 U.S. households today have pets and owners provide pets with premium foods, luxury services, state-of-the-art health care, insurance policies and more.
  • The pet care industry could reach $270 billion in global sales by 2025. It has grown steadily every year since 2001, and pet spending continued during the pandemic.
  • PAWZ invests in a range of companies that benefit from pet ownership.

Pandemic Points to Good Things for Pets — and PAWZ 

Lockdowns increased pet adoption and fostering, more time spent with pets may support increased attention to pets' needs — and more spending on pets.  

PAWZ capitalizes on pets' ability to relieve stress and isolation during the pandemic — why not snuggle your pet and make money doing it at the same time? Invest in PAWZ today.

Adoptions Up

It's a common story: Your dog or cat benefited from the pandemic by getting adopted — by you! Consumer demand for animals increased during the pandemic. Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders and pet stores reported more demand for pets than ever before. 

One nonprofit shelter reported that adoptions were double their usual rate in late June, with 10 or 13 adoptions per day.

Whether you wanted to fill a void, got stuck working from home, had no work and lots of free time and felt lonely — whatever the reason — your pet may have been one of thousands of pets adopted during the pandemic.

The pandemic downside: Shelters and rescues had to adapt to new protocols and staff shortages and often pivoted to curbside adoptions and vaccine clinics. Shelters and rescues halted non-emergency veterinary services, including spay/neuter surgeries. 

More Time with You (and Money Spent)

More than 68 percent of pet parents have spent more time with their pets than with people during the pandemic, according to a Gallant survey. The survey also shared that 83 percent of people with pets said they would continue to work from home after the pandemic.

That means more money spent, too. As a whole, Americans spend a lot of money on their pets, and this time in isolation meant an estimated spending in 2020 of $38.4 billion on pet food and treats, $19.8 billion on supplies, live animals and over-the-counter medicine; $30.2 billion on vet care and $10.7 billion on other services, according to the American Pet Products Association.  

The downside to all this togetherness? Caring for pets can be especially difficult when pet owners become hospitalized with COVID-19 — particularly when neighbors, friends and family members worry about entering your home due to contamination. 

A few tips if you're a pet owner who tests positive for COVID-19: 

  1. Isolate in an area of your home away from your pets, who can get the virus. 
  2. Ask a local animal shelter, family member or friend to take care of your pet while you take care of yourself.
  3. Make a pet preparedness disaster kit, which can include food and water for at least five days for each pet; medications in a waterproof container; cat litter, scoop and bags; carriers and leashes to transport pets safely; written information about pet feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues;  number of your veterinarian; a favorite toy. 

Veterinary Care Changes

Did you and your pet tap into curbside care during your pet's annual exam or any other treatment? Instead of feeling stressed about going into the vet's office, chances are, your pet could remain comfy in the car, according to the Animal Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). If your pet could talk, he'd probably say, "Yippeee!" to that!

The downside? Veterinary practices cancelled appointments due to the pandemic. In April, 60 percent cancelled appointments, but by July, that number decreased to 35 percent. The percentage of veterinary practices that asked clients with symptoms to leave the clinic doubled, from 31 percent to 57 percent, according to the AVMA.

More Attention to Pet Health Issues

The rise in pet parents staying home with their animals 24/7 means more emergency calls to veterinarians for things that owners never saw because they were out all day, according to a Washington Post article. For example, your pet might have always itched a certain spot on his tummy but you weren't able to see it or pay as much attention to it because you were at work all day.

Paying attention to pet health issues not only helps pets physically, it also results in increased spending on pet health. 

Pandemic Pet Therapy — for You

Pets bring people together in helpful ways: Pet owners are more likely to get to know people, form friendships and get social support, which decreased during the pandemic.

Pets play a critical role in helping reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation and loneliness.

Playing with or petting your animal reduces blood pressure and releases oxytocin — the bonding hormone. 

Guess what? Your beloved pooch or cat benefits from these scratches and tug-of-war games, too.

More Exercise

If you have a dog, here's no question that exercise benefits both you and your dog. A dog prancing around with her leash in her mouth is great motivation to go for a walk. Not only is it great exercise, but physical activity can help reduce depression for you as well. 

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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