3 Staffers On the Biggest Lesson They Learned From Adopting a Pet During the Pandemic

Coming out of the last year and some change, we've all adopted new interests and skills (looking at you, pandemic-baking and puzzle-making). And then there were those of us who came out with a new furry friend—a trend that has taken the virtual Well+Good office by total cuteness storm.

We weren't the only ones overcome with pet adoption fever, though. Shelter Animals Count (a national database that tracks pet shelter and rescues) recorded 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than in 2019, a 15 percent increase. See? Everyone needed extra snuggles this year.

Adopting a pet in the best of times is still a new life challenge filled with first-time-pet-parent hurdles—let alone doing so during a year of unprecedented shifts and struggles. So, today we're diving into three different Well+Good staffers' pandemic pet adoption stories—as well as the biggest lessons they learned from this cute-yet-life-changing decision.

After hearing all of their stories, one theme was abundantly clear: keeping your pet feeling their healthiest, best self (just like you), is always the top priority—and that starts with their diet. Made with high-quality ingredients like free-run poultry, grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and cage free-eggs, ACANA® recipes are the healthy, balanced pet food option that delivers protein, fruits, veggies, and herbs to your fur babies with every meal. Consider finding the right healthy food the first thing you can cross off your pet-parent checklist.

Keep scrolling to find out what these Well+Good staffers learned from adopting a pet during the pandemic.

Photo: Kaela O'Kelly

Kaela O'Kelly, digital traffic coordinator

My boyfriend and I decided to expand our little family during the pandemic and put our extra free time into training a puppy. We found Dakota at a shelter, and (obviously) instantly fell in love with her.

We found out she has a very sensitive stomach, so we tried a ton of different dog foods and had a lot of vet visits until we found ACANA® Wholesome Grains Puppy Recipe (with fresh or raw chicken being the first nutrient-dense ingredient that's also super high in protein). She loves it so much and we could tell from the get-go that it gives her a ton of energy—and it's one of the only foods that agrees with her stomach.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned (aside from the importance of a healthy diet, of course) would definitely be patience. I know it sounds cliche but I didn’t realize how little patience I had until adopting Dakota, but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Photo: Bojana Galic

Bojana Galic, fitness writer

One good thing, for me, that came out of the whole pandemic was my kitty, Stella. I decided to adopt her because it was the first point of my life where I was at home full-time and actually had the time to give a kitten the love and attention it needs.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Just like little kids, kitties learn from their mothers. So now, I have a little feline mini-me. We throw the same temper tantrums, enjoy mutual TV time, and never say no to extra snacks throughout the day—and I couldn’t be happier.

Photo: Aarika Znosko

Aarika Znosko, account executive

Yes, I adopted a dog during quarantine, but I swear it saved my mental health. I think there's just a mundane schedule we can fall into living in New York with the long subway commute, and this got even worse when we began to work from home.

But when we adopted Wille, I think we realized how important it is to pay attention to really living in the moment. It was a reminder that we *all* require love, care, and attention. (It's all about celebrating the little moments—especially if Willie is involved.)

Top photo: ACANA®

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