The stress and fear of the pandemic and social distancing is upsetting Americans. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health and substance abuse." Another report released by CDCP about the mental state of 18-to 24-year-olds identified that about one-quarter of those surveyed had "seriously considered suicide" in the last 30 days. As we can see, COVID-19 is bringing huge impacts to our lives, and among other things being changed, American's mental health has been impacted the most. It is reasonable to assume that most people need some sort of comfort during this special period. We need someone to be there for us when we feel stressed and lonely. Well, right now is probably the right time to get a pet.
According to CNBC News, "About 33% of Americans have considered getting a pet now that social distancing is the norm." The demand for pets in the United States has been increasing dramatically since March 2020. Compared with the previous generations, the rate is the highest for millennials, who came in at 50%, versus Gen X, at 33%, and baby boomers, 25%. Besides the desire for company from cute animals, most people feel bored from staying at home too much. As almost all in-person activities have transferred to virtual format, we no longer need the time to get ready or travel to different locations. That's a lot of time saved! That means we will have time to take care of and play with our pets.
Now, what is the next step? You probably already have an idea in mind about what kind of pets you want. You are not limited to only cats and dogs. There are many different kinds of furry animals you can choose depending on your preferences like birds, ferrets, rabbits, or guinea pigs. For me, I prefer cats over dogs because I can't take the "puppy energy." I would rather have a quieter company that needs less playing time and attention. Besides spending time or playing with your pets, there are other things you need to take care of. For example, if you are adopting a cat, you have to clean the cat poop every day (and if you have never had a cat before, cat poop stinks!!) The most important thing to keep in mind is that having a pet is like having a baby. You have to be responsible for them.
It is exciting to plan to adopt a pet, but there are a few things you need to consider beforehand. First, what are you going to do with your pet after college? If you have to travel to different places, can your family or friends take care of your pet? Next, can you continuously support your pet? According to credit.com, a pet dog costs about $1314 to $1843 in the first year, and a pet cat costs about $900 the first year. You might also need to have an emergency fund for accidents or other unexpecting events in the future. If you are still not sure about this idea, you can try to take care of your friends' pets for a few days and see if you are ready. Ask around and do a lot of research online.