• 43% believe dog owners who don’t walk their pets should receive a life ban from owning pets.
  • Half think tying up dogs for over an hour should be illegal.
  • Infographic showing results across the U.S.

Paws & Pandemics: As humans, it’s easy to get caught up in the way in which the coronavirus pandemic has affected our daily lives, forgetting the impact that lockdown has had on our furry friends. Being home for months on end has affected our activity levels as humans, but we sometimes forget that our pets need sufficient exercise too. A proposed law set to pass this year in Germany orders dog owners to walk their pets twice a day for at least one hour in total, based on evidence that many of the country’s 9.4 million dogs are not getting enough exercise. Do Americans feel pet owners need to take more responsibility for their pets’ health?

Pet product review & tip site, MyPetNeedsThat.com, conducted a survey of 3,000respondents and found that almost one-fifth (18%) of Marylanders think there should be a state law that enforces dog owners to walk them every day, at least once a day, in order to ensure they receive enough exercise (compared to a national average of 28%). If you’re a pet owner, perhaps your pooch was confused about you being home every day during the pandemic, or maybe they started experiencing cabin fever or acting strangely from not being out and about as usual. Lack of exercise can have severely negative effects on your pet’s health, including restlessness, boredom, frustration; increased risk of weight gain, and withdrawal from daily activities.

Broken down across the country, Granite Staters, Vermonters and Mississippians equally felt most strongly about this idea, with 50% agreeing with the idea of this law. In comparison those in Massachusetts felt least strongly with only 9% in agreement. 

Infographic showing dog walking viewpoints across America

The poll also found that 43% of people believe dog owners who don’t walk their pets should receive a life ban from owning pets. Moreover, nearly 1 in 5 (15%) respondents think owners that don’t walk their dogs should be subject to criminal law, rather than civil.

More than a third (34%) of Maryland respondents say if they noticed a neighbor who never allowed their dog to exercise, they would report them to authorities. Considering America has a serious pet obesity epidemic, it’s perhaps no wonder people feel strongly about caring correctly for animals and ensuring they live happy, healthy lives.

Although it may be glamorized, owning a pet requires time, effort and proper dedication to care for them correctly. It’s easy to get caught up in the positive side of adopting a pet and ignore the lifelong commitment to taking care of them, which is perhaps why nearly 1 in 5 (19%)respondents think a law should be introduced limiting people from owning more than 3 dogs.

Finally, it was found that over half (54%)of people think tying up dogs for over an hour should be illegal.

‘Some people underestimate the amount of work required to effectively care for a pet, especially if they are sold on the idea of adopting during the pandemic as a way to have a companion while home more often,’ says Dr Travis McDermott of MyPetNeedsThat.com. ‘Before considering your pet options, it’s important to evaluate your own post-pandemic lifestyle in order to determine if you’re able to provide an animal with sufficient exercise – such as daily walks – and dedicate enough time to them.’

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