Sales of pet supplies peaked the weekend before the country was put on emergency lockdown

The gist

  • Majority of Brits saying their pets help them cope in isolation
  • Uptake in Brits considering buying or adopting a pet
  • Nation-wide anxiety about not being able to provide for one’s pet
  • Baby-boomers biggest pet-lovers, especially now

Everybody knows that Brits love their pets. Having a dog, cat, rabbit, or sea monkeys in the house is part and parcel of British culture. They’re the perfect companions to take to the pub, or curl up on the sofa and watch The Great British Bake-off with. (Maybe not sea monkeys in this case).

Now, with the virus-that-shall-not-be-named causing the UK to go into lockdown, our love for pets is more evident than it has ever been before.

Good friends make hard times easier

Social isolation can be boring and, well, pretty isolating. Many Brits have taken to their pets for comfort, company and tranquility in these uncertain circumstances. Having a dog especially helps, as those furry maniacs provide the perfect excuse to go outside and get some exercise, which many of us have been finding a newfound love for.

To find out exactly how much our pets are becoming our isolation saviours, we conducted a survey of the British people. 84% of pet owners, we found out, believe that having a pet in the home can make self-quarantining an all-round nicer experience.

It’s no surprise really, that pets make us feel better about the way the world is going. Look below at how puppies have entered the yoga world to boost people’s zen levels:

Our research suggests that the extent to which you’re dependent on your pet to get through this lockdown has something to do with to your age and gender. We found that older people, of baby-boomer age, rely the most on their pets for company and solace. What’s more, males feel the need for the pets more than their female counterparts.

Females and younger people seem to need pets less to cope. Women of Gen Z age need a furry companion least of all of us, the study told us.

Supermarket scrum for Pedigree Chum

The Andrex Puppy isn’t the only poster pet that’s been filling up people’s houses in the wake of this lockdown. Along with toilet roll and hand sanitizer, pet food has seen a big hike in purchases recently. It’s clear that many of us fear we won’t be able to buy pet food and provide for our isolation companions if stocks run out.

How do we know this? Because we provide cashback on pet food and supplies. The rise in customers coming through Quidco to buy (and get some sweet cashback on) pet food has been staggering. Compared to March 2019, we’ve seen a 42% increase in traffic to our pet category in March 2020. And when we compare the middle weekend of March 2020 to the same dates in March 2019, the amount of Brits getting cashback on pet food more than doubled.

It’s highly apparent that our pets sit front, left, right and centre of our minds when it comes to a crisis. After all, when they provide so much joy and companionship in these times, it’s natural to ensure that these guys have enough food and treats to get through lockdown.

Spending oodles on our poodles

When we spend money on our pets, we go big, our research found. Nearly a quarter of UK pet owners spend between £50 and £74 on our furry pals a month. Think that’s a lot? Well, 15% of us spend a massive £124 on an average month. To put that into perspective, we spend £61.94 on fashion every month.


  • The survey was conducted on with 2,043 employed people in March 2020 and is nationally representative.
  • Quidco traffic data 2019-2020.