Concern over the rise in unwanted dogs bought in lockdown

During lockdown last year there was a huge surge in demand for puppies.  The percentage of people searching for ‘Puppies near me’ online sky rocketed by 650% with imports of dogs doubling. Registered UK breeders and rescues could not supply the need meaning unscrupulous individuals were able to cash in.  However, this tremendous increase in owning dogs has put pressure on already struggling rescues. Shelters are being approached to rehome ‘lockdown puppies’ because their owners circumstances have changed since taking their dog on.

It goes without saying, this doesn’t apply to everyone who adopted or bought a young dog.  However, there is a significant need to rehome from people who no longer have the time they had last year.  Some have had a change in finances or had to relocate and can no longer care for their dog.  There is always a small percentage of individuals who haven’t thought about the long term commitment but this rise has been notable.

Relinquishing a pet due to changes in circumstances is sometimes unavoidable but lack of foresight does not help find pen or kennel space for animals. Unfortunately, the urgency of obtaining a puppy can extend to the need to rehome too but rescues are struggling for room.

Covid restrictions meant veterinary practices were only able to administer emergency care, neutering /routine vaccinations were postponed as were puppy socialisation clubs.  Dog training, be that in classes or on a one to one level was affected by lockdowns too.  There is now a considerable percentage of adolescent pups who have no boundaries or had interaction with other dogs and the consequences of this is an increase in biting, separation and guarding behaviour problems.

Dogs are wonderful pets, they are devoted and are sensitive to change. We always urge people to research exactly what a pet needs before making the commitment.  Unfortunately, the increase in people not considering this will affect animals who were bought on an impulse.  If you are struggling with a pet dog, please reach out and be honest with rescues.  Give them time to help you as it is impossible to accommodate every animal immediately.  There is lots of information at RSPCA England and Wales.  When thinking about bringing a pet into your home,  initial research is critical.  Looking into exactly what an animal needs to be healthy and happy ALL it’s life can save a lot of time, money and heartache in the long run.

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