Shopping for your animal companions during the pandemic

Published February 19, 2021, 1:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin

As the humans of companion animals, we’re living in extraordinary times. Many of us are working from home, so we now have the time to slow down with our animal kiddos.

By Janina Castro

I’m among those who are now permanently on a work-from-home arrangement. I get to spend it with my four rescued cats, so being at home also means I can take the time to groom them, watch them do their business around the house, and figure out what their favorite games are.

Meanwhile, shopping for their much-needed supplies has moved online. We also share our home with a couple of foster cats up for adoption, so it was crucial to regularly top up our cat food, litter pellets, and other supplies.

Quick tips

Finding a reliable online shop can be challenging, but once you’ve found one, it’s totally worth it.


I looked at Pet Warehouse,, and even the online shops of Pet Express and Bow&Wow. It also helps to look up family-owned and independent stores to see if they have what you need. This way, you get to help a little store stay afloat while pleasing your kids.

Find stores nearby

Look for shops near you. This helps save on the delivery fee and amount of time it takes to deliver. Plus, the shorter delivery distance will help reduce your carbon emissions.

Buy in bulk

If you can, you might be able to buy in bulk straight from the distributors. With more people buying in bulk, the pet shop I bought from sold out a lot quicker. I was stumped until I decided to message the company directly to look for their distributor in my area. Now, I buy straight from the distributor without worrying about them running out of stock.

PRO TIP Experts say play it safe and have minimal to no contact with your pet as there are still many unknowns with the new strain of the coronavirus (Photo by Aonip)

Managing purchases

While choosing from online stores, I had to think twice if we really needed the extra treats, toys, and imported cat trees. If my cats didn’t really need it, then why buy it? Whenever I buy nonessentials for them, I challenge myself to just buy from the best possible places.

Let’s challenge ourselves

If we’re going to spoil our furbabies, we can try to buy more meaningfully. Let us choose brands that give back to society and help others out through advocacies. If our animal companions don’t need anything right now, consider donating to animal welfare groups, community cat groups, and animal shelters in their name. You might even want to consider donating to support local conservation NGOs, since their efforts help prevent pandemics in the future.

Knowing what matters

I once thought that being home more often would mean more toys and treats to keep engaged with my furkids, but now, we spend more quality time by playing with their favorite toys (no more new toys that they would forget under the bed), making homemade cat treats, or just chilling around watching movies together.

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