Search icon


26th Apr 2021

Public warned that pets may experience anxiety when owners return to work

Clara Kelly

work from home

The survey also showed that Dubliners were twice as likely to give a misbehaving pet up for adoption than other regions.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has warned that pets may experience anxiety when their owners return to work after Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease.

A new survey conducted on the nation’s relationship with pets during the Covid-19 crisis revealed that one in eight people (12%) got a new pet during the various national lockdowns. However, a majority of the population (60%) aren’t worried or aware that their pets will likely develop anxiety when society begins to reopen.

The survey carried out by online lottery company Lottoland for their charity partners DSPCA polled 1,000 people and found that nearly two in every three people “won’t or can’t bring their pet for professional training”.

Meanwhile, an additional (4%) would seriously consider giving their pets up for adoption if they misbehave when left alone in the home.

The study also found that the youngest age demographic of 18-24s had by far the biggest uptake of new pets, with 37% getting one during the pandemic to keep them occupied while stuck at home.

However, the oldest 65+ age group was the least likely to go seeking the companion of a new pet during the lockdown as well over half (57%) of this cohort admitted to not having any pets at home.

The 18-24 age group were also identified as the most likely to consider adoption if their pet started to misbehave at 10%.

Meanwhile, Dubliners were twice as likely to do so than other regions with 7% willing to get rid of a misbehaving pet.

Head of Corporate Affairs at the DSPCA Suzanne McGovern recommended that dog owners begin preparing their dogs now as to discourage destructive behaviour when people start to head back to the office.

McGovern suggestsed keeping pets entertained with activities such as sniffing games, interactive feeding toys and treat dispensers to “stimulate their brains”.

“We would encourage dog owners to start preparing their pets now for a change in routine. It’s important that your dog has something positive to do while you are out of the house, otherwise, it may lead to anxiety or destructive behaviour,” she said.

Graham Ross, Country Manager for Lottoland Ireland added: “Our in-depth survey has not only highlighted the increased pet ownership from our changed lifestyles but also the looming crisis when confused animals start to return to long periods of inactivity and alone time.”

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge