Study points to pandemic pet boom across Canada

By Katie Hartai

A new study out by Narrative Research suggests there has been a significant increase in pet ownership in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Results from the company's research conducted in early November, confirm that of current pet owners, 18 per cent have taken in an animal since March.

In Nova Scotia, that number only grew by five per cent but Narrative Research Chief Operating Officer Margaret Chapman says it's likely because the pet ownership rate was already quite high. 

“They were more likely to have had a pet than the average in the first place,” she says. “Two-thirds of Nova Scotians have a pet, compared to just 55 per cent nationally.”

Chapman says cats and dogs are the most commonly-owned pets in Canada and are essentially tied in popularity. 

She says however, Nova Scotians seem to prefer living with cats. 

“It's interesting Nova Scotians are more cat people than dog people,” she says. “Two-thirds of Nova Scotians have a cat… and 38 per cent of Nova Scotians have a dog.”

She says 11 per cent of the population have both a cat and a dog.

The study also suggests it has mostly been Generation Z who have created the pet boom.

“It's really the younger part of the population that decided to go for a pet during this time,” she says. “Boomers, those who are 55 and older now, only nine per cent of them said they got a pet since them pandemic began, but 38 per cent of Gen Z, that people who are 18-24, got a pet since the pandemic started.”

Narrative Research conducted a survey online November 11-13, with 1,231 Canadians 18 years of age or older. 

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