December 15, 2020

Pets Help Counter Lockdown Blues – Forbes Advisor UK

By haziqbinarif


The UK’s reputation as a nation of animal lovers has strengthened even further over the course of 2020, with a surge of new pets helping to comfort owners against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Sainsbury’s Bank, almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have either welcomed a new pet into their home since March 2020 or are planning to do so before Easter 2021.

Pet advantages

Findings from the bank revealed that around half (47%) of those people who have taken in  a new pet have done so for reasons of companionship and improved mental health support.

Other positive advantages also emerged from the research. In addition to lifting the spirits through lockdown, about a fifth of owners (22%) pointed out that their health had improved thanks to exercising with their pet.

Making new friends and exploring new areas were also cited as benefits of having an animal companion.

Sainsbury’s said that dogs came out as the top pet of choice, with nearly two-thirds (60%) of owners opting for a canine addition, while about a third (32%) went for cats.

In terms of dog breeds, Cockapoos (a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross) emerged as the nation’s favourite choice according to Sainsbury’s analysis of new pet insurance policy sales.

The research also revealed that the typical cost of adopting or buying a new pet was £557 and £273 for dogs and cats respectively. Sainsbury’s found that dog owners underestimated the upkeep costs of their pet more than cat owners.

Getting cover

Jason King, customer director at Sainsbury’s Bank, said it was important not to overlook the financial implications of welcoming a new pet of any size into the home. “Make sure you’re shopping around to find the most comprehensive pet insurance you can to help cover any unexpected vet bills,” he advised.

Despite the nation’s undoubted fondness for animals, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warns that the majority of households are unlikely to have taken out insurance to cover them. 

The ABI estimates that over 80% of cats are uninsured, while around two-thirds of dogs (67%) are left without cover by their owners. 

Find out more about the benefits of pet insurance with our guide.



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