Scots are worried about leaving their pets home alone

Forty per cent of pet owners in Scotland are concerned about leaving them to go back to work.

Saturday, 8th August 2020, 4:45 pm
Looking into those puppy dog eyes, it's easy to understand why 40 per cent of Scots are worried about leaving their pets at home as they return to work.

That is one of the findings of a new study by Co-op Insurance, released as the government gave the green light for staff to head back into offices.

As a result of the pandemic, 44 per cent of pet owners said they had spent more time with their pets than ever before.

The study showed that, on average, pet owners had spent 77 hours per week with their pets, with a third saying they had spent all day with their beloved creatures.

Women in particular spent more time with their pets with over two fifths (43 per cent) saying this was the case, compared to only a third (35 per cent) of men.

Highlighting the lengths pet owners have been going to during lockdown to show affection for their animals, almost two fifths (39 per cent) have spoiled their furry friends with more treats than usual, spending on average £25 per week.

However, it’s evident that this new routine is causing concern for many adults with almost a fifth (18 per cent) stating that as they go back to work they will spend less time with their pets.

The most concerned about the impact returning to work will have are those aged 18 to 34, with four fifths (79 per cent) voicing fears.

In order to combat this, of those pet owners who work in an office environment almost a third (30 per cent) now plan to work from home more.

Over a sixth (17 per cent) also intend to ask friends and family members to check in on their pets while they are at work and a sixth (15 per cent) said they’d hire some help.

Andrew Nevitt, head of pet insurance at Co-op, said: “During lockdown, owners have spent more time with their pets than ever before.

“It’s therefore no surprise that so many pet owners are concerned about the impact returning to the office will have on their pets.

“It’s really important that pet owners do what they can to support this transition.

“Those returning to the office need to take the necessary steps to make sure that their pets are gradually eased back into spending time alone.”

Andrew’s top tips for pet owners heading back to work are as follows:

1. Create a new routine such as a pre or post work stroll or playtime.

2. Start to make gradual changes to your pet’s routine ahead of going back into the office.

3. If you hire a pet sitter or walker, where possible ask them to start to care for your pet before heading back to the office.

4. Where possible install a webcam for peace of mind while you’re away from home.

5. Understand your employer’s policy; you may be able to take your pet into work on occasion.

The survey was conducted by Atomik Research with 2006 UK pet owners taking part. It took place from July 10 to July 14.