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Demand for puppies has increased massively during lockdown, with Google searches for 'buy a puppy' going by 166% since late March.
If you're thinking of making the long-term commitment to get a dog follow this advice from the RSPCA.
There are four main thing you need to bear in mind when getting a puppy:
Can I provide a puppy what it needs?
Socialisation will be particularly challenging
Remember Lucy's Law
Get a puppy that has the best chance of living a happy and healthy life
Here is the advice on each point from RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines.
Getting a puppy at any time is both exciting and daunting. With their seemingly boundless energy and ability to find joy in everything, it is rare to find someone who won't smile or feel happy in their presence and it is easy to understand why they might be perceived as the perfect antidote to the current crisis we are all experiencing. However, they don't stay young for long and, regardless of age, are reliant on you and your family to help guide them and provide everything they need to keep them happy and healthy for the rest of their life.
With puppies we also have particular responsibilities to help them cope with the world in which we expect them to live. To ensure they grow into happy and well-adjusted adults, we need to expose puppies, in a very careful and positive way, to all the different types of people. As well as, dogs and other animals they are likely to encounter as well as the many sights, sounds and smells - a process known as socialisation. The key socialisation period in puppies occurs between three and 14 weeks
On the 6 April, new legislation - 'Lucy's Law' - came into force which bans the sale of puppies and kittens in England from third party sellers e.g. pet shops, traders or dealers. This means that anyone wanting to buy or adopt must go directly to a breeder or rehoming centre.
Think about adopting one of dogs the RSPCA has in its care. Although rehoming centres remain closed to the general public the charity can rehome and foster using a remote process.
For more information, visit the RSPCA website.