Quarter of new dog owners admit buying a puppy on impulse to help cope with misery of coronavirus lockdown, survey shows
- Quarter of people who bought lockdown dogs did less than two hours research
- Around 25 per cent paid without having seen the dog in person or on video call
- Experts warn pets may suffer separation anxiety as life becomes more normal
As many as one in four new dog owners admit impulse-buying a puppy during the coronavirus crisis.
‘Pandemic puppies’ were bought to be companions or to ease the tedium and anxiety of lockdown for families.
But a survey of 2,622 owners by the Kennel Club found 25 per cent of those who bought a dog during lockdown did fewer than two hours of research beforehand.
‘Pandemic puppies’ were bought to be companions or to ease the tedium and anxiety of lockdown for families [File photo]
One in five of those who bought a puppy admit not having fully considered the commitment or long-term responsibilities of being a dog owner.
And 18 per cent said they were unsure how they would look after their new pet after returning to work.
Concerningly, almost a quarter of those surveyed said their pet may have come from a puppy farm, with around the same number having paid for the animal without having seen it in person or on video call.
Bill Lambert, head of health and welfare at the Kennel Club, said: ‘These hasty decisions not only play into the hands of the opportunistic scammers and puppy farmers operating during the pandemic, but can also sadly result in puppies being rehomed if owners haven’t carefully considered how their dog will fit their “normal” life.’
Experts have warned that pets may suffer separation anxiety as life becomes more normal, missing the constant human attention they enjoyed during lockdown.
The research, released by the Kennel Club as part of its #BePuppywise campaign to provide advice on finding the right dog and breeder, found more than 80 per cent of people were not asked any questions by the breeder about their suitability as owners.
It follows research earlier this month which found a quarter of puppies in the UK are being taken from their mothers before they are eight weeks old, which is illegal.
The survey also shows 15 per cent are worried about whether they can afford a puppy along with food, vet bills and pet insurance.
Almost one in six of those surveyed last month agreed that, in hindsight, they were not ready to have a puppy.
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