Experts warn of pending crisis after pandemic puppy purchases

  • Video report by ITV's Kevin Ashford

Experts are warning of a puppy health and welfare crisis across the south because of the way people bought and looked after dogs during the pandemic. 

There was a huge spike in demand for puppies during lockdown but it's feared many people got a dog without being able to do proper checks on the breeder. 

There are also concerns that as we move away from working from home, some owners will regret their pandemic puppy purchase. 

Research suggests the pandemic has had a big impact on the way people have been buying puppies. 

According to a Kennel Club survey, more than one in four people in the South admitted buying their pet without meeting it beforehand, while just under three quarters said they would buy a dog the same way again.

Figures from The Kennel Club

There have been other trends too nearly a fifth said they would put off completing post-purchase admin tasks like getting insurance or booking vaccines. 

  • The Royal Veterinary College says as well as an increase in puppy health problems, they fear a rise in the number of unwanted dogs as some owners regret their lockdown purchase.

The Kennel Club says the pandemic is  threatening  to reverse years of campaigning to change people's  behaviour when it comes to buying a puppy. 

Bill Lambert from The Kennel Club, says: "We've developed this click and collect mentality through the pandemic and of course a puppy is not quite like anything else you buy.

"It's an animal that's going to spend the next thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years with you and therefore it's important that you make those decisions early on.

"If you're seeing a puppy without seeing its mother, without seeing the environment that it's been bred in then you've got a really big chance of buying something that's not right - a dog that's unhealthy, a dog that's possibly going to have behavioural issues for the rest of its life."