There has been a surge in pet adoptions across the UK since the start of the pandemic, but many puppies adopted during lockdown may not be getting the best start of life.
As we embark on the UK's third lockdown, a survey of Brits who adopted a dog within the last year has revealed some shocking facts, sparking concern that many of these pups are not properly cared for. Research from Itch, a pet wellness company, explored dog ownership during the last 12 months to understand the challenges pet owners face post-pandemic. But the results make shocking reading.
An alarming 62% of pups bought or adopted since the pandemic have never been outside of their home. A further two out of five dogs have never even met another dog. The survey also discovered that nearly half (49%) of these dogs have never had contact with children, while 36% have never even been to a park.
Dogs need to be socialised before they turn 16 weeks old. This means that many of these dogs will need help reintegrating into a post-pandemic society to ensure they can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.
Pet adoption regret
At the start of the pandemic, many animal charities warned against buying or adopting a pet on impulse during lockdown. They predicted that many families would come to regret their purchase later on. Sadly, they were right as 40% now admit to regretting buying their pup.
One in five say they didn't realise how much work was involved in caring for a puppy, and a third of people are now considering putting their dog up for adoption. Pet websites are flooded with listings of dogs for sale, while animal charities are overwhelmed with calls from people wanting to rehome their pet.
But not all of the results are worrying. More than 40% of owners said that adopting a dog during the pandemic has been great for their fitness and mental health.
See also: Hundreds of puppies put up for sale as owners regret lockdown adoption