Increase in Dog Ownership During COVID-19

Now, more than ever, people are interested in adopting and owning a dog. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many people from working in offices to working remotely. With this change, many are looking for a furry companion to spend time with while staying home. Not only does it get lonely staying at home but working remotely allows more time to care for pets in a way that is not possible when working in an office. The phrase “pandemic puppy” has been coined for dogs that have been purchased during the course of the pandemic. Owning a dog can bring immense joy but it also comes with a significant amount of responsibility, and it is up to the owners to provide them with a stable environment, good training, and limited stress.

Pre-Pandemic Dog Bite Incidents

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), prior to the pandemic, the number of dog bite incidents had been steadily decreasing. This could have been due to many factors, but primarily that people are becoming more educated about the environmental influence humans can have on their dogs’ behavior, and particularly how training from puppyhood on can create the foundation for an obedient dog that is less at risk for biting. Education on proper training, and using positive reinforcement when doing so, is essential to developing good habits in any dog, no matter what breed. Although some breeds statistically have more incidents of biting, any dog can be prone to it without the right training and habits in place.

Causes of Current Increase in Dog Bites

With the sudden onset of more people owning dogs, the number of dog bites has significantly increased as a result. From the data available about dog bite incidents during the pandemic, the increase in dog bites could be due to a number of factors. In addition to there being more dogs in households, one reason could also be because there are more package deliveries taking place. The pandemic has urged people to order more online rather than going physically into stores. With this, there are more delivery services and postal workers going to front doors, and therefore there is an increased risk for dog bites since many dogs get territorial and protective of their spaces when strangers appear there. If this does happen, and the dog bite injury is severe, there is a risk for a lawsuit to be filed against the dog owner. Furthermore, due to the fact that more children are home now doing school remotely, there can be greater stress to a dog in the house and a further urge to bite because of increased household stress, and the fact that parents are working remotely and might have limited supervision of their children. Infants and children aged 5-9 have the highest rates of dog bite incidents overall, and children and teenagers are the demographic that make up over 40% of the dog bite injuries that require emergency care. It is detrimental that caregivers do not leave children unattended with a dog, even if they have been trained.

Although the dog bite incidents have increased during the pandemic, it is still possible to get the numbers back down to where they were pre-pandemic. With proper education about canine behavior and training to improve socialization and obedience, the high rate of incidents can decline. It is also important to keep the household as stress-free of an environment as possible for a dog, and to monitor children and how they behave around the dog. With high adoption rates of dogs during the pandemic and the increase in bite incidents, there is no better time to start to improve training and form good habits and relationships with your dog.

Author's Bio: 

John Smith is a Digital Marketing Consultant with more than 8 years of experience in SEO, SEM, SMO, blogging, etc having wide knowledge base into content marketing.