Getting Through the Pandemic with Puppers: a helpful or harmful trend?
By Adya Dutt
Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, medical masks, and cute puppies. These are currently the most popular consumer purchases.
Why is there a sudden surge in dog sales and adoption? The answer is the unforeseen virus that shook the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused people all over the world to isolate themselves according to stay-at-home and lockdown orders. This isolation came as a sudden and unfamiliar change, with the fast pace of daily life coming to an abrupt stop. Free time has increased, allowing people to spend their time doing new tasks and pick up new hobbies. This isolation and free time has caused a spike in puppy interest and created the “pandemic pets” craze.
8.2 million domestic "puppers" (aka. the cuter way to say puppies) reside in Canada, and this number has been growing at a rapid rate during the solitudes of quarantine. Dogs are the perfect companion in this secluding situation, providing unconditional love, radiating pure happiness, and offering a break from the overwhelming news in 2020. To avoid feeling quarantine blues, dogs are a great way to develop a daily routine due to the responsibilities that are associated with the furry friend. Exercise is part of the deal, making it a win-win.
You may know someone who is a part of this pandemic pet craze, and now has an adorable little pupper to raise. In that case, they can be considered lucky as multiple breeders currently have long waiting lists, and animal shelters are overwhelmed with adoption applications. There is excess demand but not enough supply, causing puppy prices to be widely inflated. This has caused a rise in untrustworthy sources that could be unethically acquiring dogs and scamming interested customers. Researching a breeder’s background and reputation is a great way to avoid any potential problems during this increase in interest.
This trend has continued despite the multiple restrictions that have lifted, as people continue to work from home. According to a survey conducted by Statistics Canada, 3.4 million people were working remotely during the start of the lockdown, with that number dropping to 2.5 million Canadians in August. As the second wave of the novel coronavirus reaches closer, more people may switch back to remotely working, meaning quarantine fads will continue.
However, this pandemic pets phenomenon can result in cases of neglect, with some prospective owners disregarding the commitment needed to keep a dependant companion. Both time and costs should be considered when buying a dog. This is an undertaking that exceeds past the pandemic and lasts for 11-15 years. Some responsibilities include walking, feeding, training, grooming, and other general aspects. Financial situations are especially important during these times, where 10% of Canada’s population is unemployed. Vet visits, toys and gears, food, and grooming must be considered.
This pandemic has taken a toll on the well-being and mental health of many Canadians. Obtaining a fluffy sidekick might just help us get through this together, stronger than ever.