One in 10 owners who bought a dog during the ‘pandemic puppy boom’ are now worried about whether they can care for them when restrictions end and life returns to normal, according to new data released by The Kennel Club.
More than a fifth (22%) said they were particularly worried about behavioural problems resulting from lack of training and socialisation, and nearly a third (31%) admitted they hadn’t made a plan for their pet for when they return to normal life and work.
While almost two-thirds (63%) of new dog owners said they believe lockdown was the perfect time to get a dog, both new and seasoned owners continued to face various challenges as covid-19 restrictions remained stringent.
Worryingly, the Kennel Club says, it also seems some new owners may have made short-sighted decisions and didn’t realise the commitment that comes with getting a puppy, which could exacerbate behavioural issues and have a further negative impact for these dogs in the future.
PANDEMIC PUPPY PURCHSERS
Over a third (38%) of pandemic puppy buyers said their main motivation for getting their dog was because they were spending more time at home and a fifth admitted they hadn’t fully considered the long-term commitment or responsibility that comes with having a dog.
Following this research, and to help guide new dog owners through the development stages of their puppy’s life and address these concerns, The Kennel Club has developed a range of online resources offering training, health and behavioural advice as part of its Be Puppywise campaign.
The campaign also provides tips on responsible puppy buying and advice on how to care for your puppy in its first few weeks at home to help owners to provide the best foundation for their puppy to become a happy, healthy, well-socialised dog.
The Kennel Club is concerned about the impact of the lockdown restrictions not only on dog behaviour, but also on their physical health, with the significantly changed daily routines of both humans and dogs. The data showed that nearly one in five dog owners were worried about their dog’s weight due to overfeeding them during lockdown, and the combination of more frequent treats and limited exercise may leave thousands of dogs around the UK at risk of obesity this year.
As part of The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme and to help new owners, expert trainers are running virtual puppy foundation classes during lockdown, and worried owners can find weight management advice, further training resources and educational videos via The Kennel Club’s Be Puppywise campaign: thekennelclub.org.uk/be-puppywise