Animal pensions fully booked since coronavirus measures were relaxed
Animal pensions have been busy since the coronavirus restrictions were loosened. “We already had to disappoint people and tell them ‘no’”, Martienke Broer from the animal pension Het Grote Veld in Lochem said to Omroep Gelderland.
During the coronavirus crisis, the animal pension did not have many guests. “It was very quiet but now it started to pick up again. Normally we are fully booked in February and March until the summer holidays”, Broer said.
Many people acquired a dog for company when the lockdown began. Around 200 thousand puppies were sold during the pandemic, research by the national trade association for pet specialists Dibevo showed. Nearly 20 percent of Dutch households have at least one dog currently. In total, there are around 1.9 million dogs in the Netherlands.
Now that restrictions have been relaxed again many dog owners are turning to animal pensions again to look after their dogs while they go on vacation. Now animal pensions such as Het Grote Veld are seeing an influx of new dogs. “I am happy with that in itself. It was quite difficult to keep the pensions afloat financially during the coronavirus crisis”, Gijs van den Assum from Dibevo said.
Yet most of the puppies are poorly trained. “Only with the relaxations can you go back to dog school. In many cases, you are too late because the puppies have already grown up and gone through puberty without being socialized which could lead to an incident where someone gets bit", Van den Assum said.
Some animal pensions such as Het Grote Veld continued providing regular care to customers throughout the past year. According to Broer, this is beneficial for both dog and owner. “Groups of dog owners no longer gathered to catch up while their dogs are playing with each other. We were able to continue to offer those socialization moments at daycare”, Broer said.