New research shows that growing numbers of pandemic dog owners fear they can’t give a suitable home to their pets as lockdown restrictions ease unless places of leisure and employment improve their dog-friendly credentials.
The research, released by the Kennel Club as part of its Open for Dogs campaign, shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of all owners fear they will no longer be able to provide a suitable home for their dog post-lockdown.
And a staggering number – nearly one in five (17%) – saying they have considered rehoming as an option.
Close to two in three Brits (63%), both owners and non-dog owners alike, worry about dogs bought during the pandemic being abandoned when ‘normal’ life resumes.
During lockdown, dogs became a vital support line for many people – with pandemic ownership skyrocketing – and more than one in three (36%) of the estimated 14 million-strong UK dog-owning community now say that they are worried about what their pet will do if they can’t go with them to the places they usually socialise and work, once restrictions ease.
“This new research worryingly shows that if dogs can’t go to places with their owners, and fit their lifestyle post-pandemic, some will be left home alone for too long, or even sadly rehomed or abandoned,” said Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club. “These consequences could be quite devastating for the nation’s dogs, who frankly don’t deserve to be left behind after being a lifeline for so many during lockdown.”
Away from pandemic concerns, owners are being forced to leave dogs outside, in the car or at home for longer periods if a place isn’t dog friendly, leading to alarming consequences including pet theft, heat-related health concerns, and separation anxiety.
On the back of this research, The Kennel Club has launched its Open for Dogs campaign, urging more businesses, establishments and workplaces to consider the benefits of being dog friendly.
The campaign provides advice, tools and resources, from downloadable dog-friendly policies and window stickers, to tips for both owners to take their dogs to dog-friendly places responsibly, as well as businesses and workplaces who want to open for dogs.
Further information about the campaign, alongside practical advice, printable dog-friendly policies and ‘Open for Dogs’ window stickers for business owners, workplace decision makers and owners, is available at thekennelclub.org.uk/openfordogs