Pet owners behaviour during COVID

400 respondents - Trends and habits - September 2020
A survey conducted among pet parents in seven European countries reveals some noticeable changes in their own and their pets’ behaviour since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

When, where and how?

The survey’s respondents originated from Belgium, England, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales. They answered questions in one of two languages: French or English. The survey was live between 20 and 28 April, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis in these regions.

Feeding patterns

76% of the French-speaking pet parents did not change their feeding patterns, as opposed to 62% of the English-speaking respondents. A quarter of the English-speaking pet parents say they give food and treats more often, while only 11% of the French-speaking respondents report an increase in food and snack times. It seems that the English-speaking pet owners surveyed are slightly more prone to increasing the number of times they give food and snacks to their pets.

Seeking attention

Around 40% of the pet owners say that they have not noticed any change in the behaviour of their pets since the first day of confinement. Half of the 60% who did notice a difference – so around 30% – noticed that their pet wanted to be around them at all times. More than 20% of all owners noticed their pet was becoming more affectionate. Only 5% of owners say they saw that their pets wanted more space during the day.

It seems that if pets behave differently at all, they are seeking attention rather than wanting to move away from their owners.

Remarkable findings

More than half of all surveyed pet owners report that their pet’s anxiety levels have risen or they can sense a bigger change taking place since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

Also, 30% of all respondents say they provided extra space or toys indoors for their pets to accommodate their pet’s needs. On top of that, over 20% of surveyed pet owners bought more toys for their pets due to the lockdown.


It seems that the surveyed pet owners, while confined at home, do not overall change the amount of food and snacks they are giving to their pets. The findings also show that there is no big difference between the countries surveyed with regard to any behavioural change in pets.

In this new situation, pets are more affectionate towards their owners. And the pet parents are buying more toys and creating more playing space indoors to accommodate their pets’ needs.