The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has found that 35% of young adults have now acquired or plan to acquire a pet, according to its new Covid-19 pet survey.
The survey found that 19%, or 2.1 million Millennials collected a new pet in lockdown, while 16%, or 1.8 million, are planning to add a pet to their household.
While the research highlights a “spike” amongst younger owners, 11% of all households have already welcomed a new pet and 10% plan to do so, according to the PFMA.
Out of new pet owners, 15% work and 20% have children, while Londoners are the most likely to have added a pet to their family, with 18% having picked up a pet and 13% planning to do so.
The PFMA also examined the types of pets adopted, with dogs proving the most popular (57%) and cats second (38%), while small furries were third (8%). Dogs are the first choice for young adults, with 70% choosing a dog.
Nicole Paley, PFMA deputy chief executive, said: “With millions working from home or furloughed from their jobs, many have clearly considered the numerous benefits of pet ownership. Now, more than ever, we know that the companionship and joy pets can bring to people’s lives shouldn’t be under-estimated.
“However, we’re keen to highlight the long-term responsibilities of bringing a pet into your life. This is an unprecedented period with unusual working conditions. New owners need to seriously think about future possible obstacles that could make life with a pet slightly more challenging.”
She added: “Owners need to consider their pet when thinking about return to work plans, any possible future hit on finances, less time available and the possibility of separation anxiety for their pet.
“Also, when looking for a new addition, families need to do lots of research. Sadly, there are unscrupulous breeders out there who are willing to take advantage of the rising demand. And, as highlighted by Lucy’s Law, it is so important to buy from a recognised breeder and please don’t forget the importance of rehoming too.”