Pets of the pandemic

This year has been hard. But, fortunately for some of us, some very special pets have got us through the spring and summer of 2020

Our ‘Pets of the Pandemic’ survey has revealed that 65% of owners appreciated the company of their pet during lockdown, with 64% saying that their pet cheered them up through difficult times by making them laugh.

 Agria’s survey found that: 

- 65% of owners said that their pet kept them company

- 64% were cheered up by their pet making them laugh

- 55% were comforted by their pet

- 54% felt that their pet had improved their mental health


 Tom Vaughan, Head of Marketing at Agria Pet Insurance, explains,

“Since the Agria team first moved from our offices to work from home, all of us pet-owners (which is most of us) were very grateful for the comfort, distraction and normality our animals gave us during such a challenging time.

“We wondered if other owners felt the same, so we asked, and were overwhelmed by the responses we received.

“Some told of very tragic circumstances, or complex situations – while others were more light-hearted. But what they all had in common were the huge amounts of comfort and positivity generated by much-loved pets. By sharing just a few of these Pets of the Pandemic stories, we wanted to celebrate the incredible difference pets make, every day, to our lives.”


Here, ten of those owners explain why their pet has meant the world to them, as everything else in the world turned upside-down…

“Poppy is a two-year-old Cavalier King Charles, I am 83 with diabetes but we both love our walking. She runs in the fields, and I watch her happiness as I walk; what a delight. I am on my own now and talk to Poppy most of the day. She looks at me quizzically if I’ve not spoken for a while and she snuggles up to me on the bed and we both sleep beautifully, both tired after a good two-hour walk.”

“I am an emergency worker and live on my own. My kitten brightens up my day, makes me laugh daily and is so excited to see me when I get home from a long shift. She’s the best!”

“Every day they give me a purpose and a focus, they keep company and know when I am down. A little head under my hand, just to know they are there. Doing silly things that always put a smile on my face and just their love for life, even during these times. Missing my family and my normal routine made me think a little more like a dog... "Enjoy each day, have fun with the small and simple things and be loyal, grateful and patient! It won't be forever!"”

“We got our Ragdoll kitten last year. She's so placid that she's amazing with our children. My daughter, who turned 4 during lockdown, was missing her friends and teachers from school, but giving her best friend Narla a cuddle made her happy.”

"We have recently had a baby mini lop bunny, Dexter, join our family. Dexter has been a huge comfort for me and helped me switch off from my work, which had been extremely difficult since being in lock down. He has also helped my 6-year-old little boy immensely. He was having daily tantrums and missed his friends so much, but had huge anxiety about seeing them again. But since Dexter arrived, my son has been like a different child. Dexter has calmed the household and I genuinely don't know how we all coped without him!

"I’m a paramedic and I recently moved 250 miles away from the rest of my family. My dad’s not very well and I haven’t been able to visit him, especially given my job, as I could possibly give it to him. I have a cat and a rabbit and they have kept me smiling through their antics every day. I come back from work and they’re there making me laugh as soon as I’m through the door! I think without them, I’d really be struggling at the moment.”

“My youngest cat Archie regularly deserts me to spend time with my elderly next door neighbour. Joan has dementia & Archie Is one of the few people she can always remember. The care team who support Joan have suggested that he deserves an honorary care badge.”

“We have 2 English setter puppies aged nearly 8 months who have been invaluable to our daughters. One is home from working in London as in the high risk shielding category, and the other daughter that had A levels cancelled. The puppies have given both girls a purpose, and helped them see the positive when they could have been so negative. Mabel and Winnie (the pups) are so naughty, chancing and loving with big forgiving eyes.

“I work for the NHS as a key worker. At home it’s just me and my little boy cat Coco. To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to deal with everything going on, but what gives me sunshine and comfort is Coco. Hes the one who gives me that come on you can deal with this look. Hes the one who snuggles with me at night so I don’t feel the loneliness. He keeps me sane.”

“Working from home made me feel down and depressed. Darcy helped me realise that there is more to life. She was my reason to get up and work. My reason to get out of the house to walk her and get fresh air. My reason to take time off and play with her in the garden. All the things I used to take for granted.”