Filipinos’ Interest In Owning Pets During The Pandemic Surges, Highest In Southeast Asia
As they get locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Filipinos turned to pets apparently as part of their ways to cope with the situation.
Filipinos have the highest interest in owning pets in Southeast Asia (SEA) during the pandemic, according to a new study.
An iPrice Group research showed that there are direct correlations between the gravity of COVID situation and the demand for pets in the region.
iPrice, a leading e-commerce aggregator in SEA, discovered that interests for pets – either for adoption or for sale –increased by a whopping 88% based on the region’s Google searches.
Comparing January to September 2021 with the same period in 2019, Filipinos’ searches for pets increased by 118%, the study revealed.
“They (Filipinos) have the highest increase in the region, along with Malaysians,” iPrice stated.
According to the study, Filipinos have the highest overall searches for pets, reaching almost seven million Google searches by September 2021, nearly four times Vietnam’s, which comes in second.
“Filipinos’ Google searches for pets account for 53% of the region’s,” it pointed out.
Despite their abundant Google searches for pets, Vietnam has the lowest increase (34%) or only by over a third of 2019 numbers this year.
The research noted that this could be due to the fact that Vietnam’s COVID cases only spiked in the recent months, starting from July.
Due to its loosened restrictions in 2021 compared to the previous year, Singapore’s interest for pets was highest in 2020, and slightly decreased by 7% in 2021.
Google searches on pets were taken from Google Keyword Planner, comparing the period of January to September 2019 with the same period in 2020 and 2021.
The following English keywords were used in the study: “animals for adoption,” “cats for adoption,” “dogs for adoption,” “small pets for adoption,” “animals for sale,” “cats for sale,” “dogs for sale,” and “small pets for sale.”
Keywords for cats and dogs were compared and taken from the period of January to September 2021.
According to iPrice’s database, the Google impressions on their category for pet supplies have increased by 158% across all their six platforms in Southeast Asia.
It compared the period of January to October 2021 with the same period the previous year. “It makes complete sense that the demand for pet supplies have also increased this year.”
Data from iPrice showed that Philippines’ pet supplies have more than doubled, from over 400,000 the previous year to over a million this year.
“The rise in pet adoptions and purchases is evidently good for pet stores,” iPrice said.
Meanwhile, Thailand leads with the highest increase of impressions on pet supplies (4.5 times more than the previous year), followed by their Malaysia platform (increasing by nearly 3.5 times more).
“This is probably due to both countries’ alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the previous months after containing them so well last year,” it explained.
As a result, iPrice disclosed that both countries saw an increase in suicide cases this year, “which is a telltale sign that there is a need?for?coping methods.”
With restrictions and isolations due to the rise in COVID infections, people in Thailand and Malaysia shop more online than buying pet supplies in physical stores, according to the research.
Vietnam comes in third, with a 220% increase in impressions on pet supplies. “It more than tripled from last year’s numbers. Just like the former countries, Vietnam has encountered more difficulties in containing the virus this year than in 2020.”
Indonesia, on the other hand, had the lowest increase (89%) of impressions on pet supplies.
The Google impressions on pet supplies were taken from the database of iPrice platforms, taking into consideration all products falling under the category of pet supplies.
Impressions during the period of Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2021 was compared with the same period in 2020.
Dogs versus cats
iPrice also said Filipinos want to own dogs over five times more than cats.
“The same comparison is consistently seen in the Philippines; Filipinos’ searches for dogs (for sale/adoption) are 460% more than their searches for cats,” the study showed.
Although there are numerous anecdotal online debates and memes about the dog lover-cat lover rivalry, the former “outnumbers the latter by a landslide.”
“That said, it’s important for people to keep their minds in check as the region still cycles between looser restrictions and lockdowns due to the unpredictable nature of the virus, even if this means spending time and money on a beloved pet,” it noted.
According to several studies, pets, specifically cats and dogs, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. While owning a pet also improves cardiovascular health.