A record number of Americans have turned to pandemic pets to overcome the uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving some businesses and shelters overwhelmed due to demand.

With the increase in the number of new pet owners, there has been a demand for veterinary, grooming and training services for the millions of new pets adopted during the pandemic that some companies are struggling to keep up with.

“Our training and grooming is overwhelmed by demand,” said Ron Coughlin, CEO of Petco. Bloomberg. “Our veterinary hospitals and veterinary clinics have more and more requests because people feel more comfortable going out.

Coughlin said there are 11 million new pets in 2020, the majority of which have been adopted by Millennials and Get Zers, leaving some shelters and breeders facing a pet shortage, especially dogs, as “pandemic puppies” have become a popular source of comfort for pet owners.

According to Rover.com, who surveyed 1,000 pet owners, 13% said their new pet was their only pet, compared to 66% who already had a cat or dog in the house when they adopted a pet in the past 12 months.

Of those surveyed, 53 percent got a dog, 32 percent got a dog and a cat, and 14 percent adopted a dog and a cat. Only 26% got their animals from breeders, while 64% were adopted by a nonprofit, rescue group or other family.

the survey found that 93% of people said their pandemic pet improved their mental or physical well-being, and 80% said it made working and being at home during the pandemic more enjoyable .

“If this survey proves anything, it’s that our pets have helped us through the most difficult times,” rover.com pollsters said. “In fact, over 90% of pet owners are still completely satisfied with their decision to acquire a ‘pandemic pet’. As long as we continue to cherish and nurture our bond with them, they will be there for us again during difficult times.

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