The coronavirus pandemic made bonds between pets and their owners stronger, according to a new survey.

The Banfield Pet Hospital in Portland, Oregon, the largest general veterinary practice in the USA, released a survey showing 84 percent of pet owners are more conscious of their companion animals’ health and 67 percent plant to change their pet care techniques. Over 1,000 dog and cat owners have been surveyed online over a four-day period.

“We really got some insights that, through this crisis, through this pandemic, on how important pets truly are in our lives,” Brian Garish, president of Banfield Pet Hospital, told USA Today in an interview.

“The human-animal bond now, more than ever, plays an integral role in people’s lives,” Molly McAllister, the hospital’s chief medical officer said in a news release. “This survey shows that pets are always here for us – even, and especially, during the most difficult of times – and we’re encouraged that as a result of spending more time together, people are committed to finding new ways to better be there for their pets.”

Garish added that the survey showed pet parents have been more interested in their companion’s overall health and behavior. According to the survey, 43 percent of people contacted their veterinarians during the quarantine. He also pointed out the surge of adoptions and fosters, leaving shelters empty.

“We’re really finding that comfort with pets,” Garish said. “And we know that pets are such a big part of our family lives, and we just see this role only increasing during this pandemic.”

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