Pets, owners anxious with shift back to in-person work

PUBLISHED:09/04/2021

Owners voice concern over the impact on pets' overall health and associated costs, while some dogs howl the home alone blues.

Article excerpt credited to PropertyCasualty360.com. Full link: https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2021/08/26/pets-owners-anxious-with-shift-back-to-in-person-work/

As workers that spent the past year, or longer, at home with their pets start transitioning back to in-person workplaces, 74% are considering animal care costs that could arise from the shift.

That’s according to MetLife Pet Insurance’s Pet Parent Pulse survey, which found nearly all pet owners surveyed (95%) anticipate the transition back to offices will cause a change in their pet’s routine or otherwise impact the animal’s overall health.

In addition to a disruption to the pet’s routine, animal owners are equally concerned about making the pet anxious or stressed, while 24% are worried about the animal acting out while left alone.

To get ahead of any issues, 36% of pet owners are planning to invest in support such as pet daycare, while 29% expect to adjust their work hours. Nearly one-quarter said they would take a pay cut to continue working remotely, and 20% are considering taking the animal to a shelter or finding it a new home.

‘Where’d you go?’

For the 2 million dogs and cats adopted during the past year, this might be the first time they’ve been left alone for extended periods in their new home. Even those pets that might have dealt with being alone before could start to experience separation anxiety due to the change.

“As peoples’ routines change and they start spending more time away from home, some dogs may experience separation anxiety,” explains Emily Kessler, head actuary at Canopius’ Chicago offices. “This may be especially true for dogs adopted during the pandemic that have known no other routine or dogs with a history of separation anxiety, which may be the case for many rescues. High levels of anxiety may lead to aggressive behaviors, so it is important for dog owners to be able to recognize the signs of separation anxiety and learn how to help their dogs transition to a new routine.”

Unfortunately, when pets feel anxious, stressed or bored, they can translate those emotions into destructive behavior. Kessler, who also helps manage the canine liability portfolio of Amelia Underwriters, notes many homeowners and renters policies limit or exclude damage caused by canines, which policyholders might not realize.

While Canopius has seen an uptick in interest in its canine policies during the past year, which includes personal injury and property coverage, she says it is difficult to know whether it is attributable to the pandemic.

 PropertyCasualty360.com. “As lockdowns ease and people are not able to spend as much time with their dogs, it is more important than ever for owners to make sure they have appropriate coverage.”

“Adopting a dog is an exciting time, and I don’t think most people think about the potential liability that their new family member poses or have a good understanding of how their current insurance may or may not protect them,” Kessler tells

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