‘Pandemic pets’ on the rise in Kentucky and nationwide

The pandemic and resulting shift to remote working for many across both Kentucky and country has spurred an uptick in pet adoptions. In fact, in many states, animal shelters were emptied by mid-April. In addition to working from home – people are traveling less and are home more – which has prompted many to add a pet to the family.

Adding a furry new member to your family is exciting – but pets can also bring surprise expenses. In fact, 1 in 5 pet parents say the expense of caring for a pet’s health/veterinary expenses would prevent them from getting a pet in the next 12 months, according to recent data from MetLife and CivicScience. The pet insurance department of MetLife is based in metro Louisville.

Many are willing to pay to keep their pet healthy as they view them as members of their family. However, it’s helpful to be financially prepared for pet parenthood, especially in today’s financially challenging environment.

At the end of the day, there’s no way to avoid all the costs that come with being a pet parent – but you can make a plan for keeping your new family member as healthy and happy as possible – from budgeting time and money to your pet’s health, to researching insurance plans, to finding the right dog walker.

Katie Blakeley, Vice President and Head of Pet Insurance at MetLife, says the key is to prepare. “Pets become our family and planning is key. Consider easing financial strain by leveraging pet insurance to help negate unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses,” Blakely said.

“Find a veterinarian you trust, someone qualified to dog sit and so on. Additionally, be sure to consider how your job may change over the next few months and years as the pandemic subsides. While working from home is common now – assure you’ll have ample time to devote to your pet in the next several years and beyond,” she added.

— Berry Craig

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