People are being warned to "think twice" before buying a puppy during lockdown after reports that sellers are upping their prices because of demand for dogs during lockdown.
Powys County Council's Trading Standards team said they have received reports that some sellers are inflating the prices of dogs "to extortionate levels."
Animal charities are also concerned people are making 'impulse' puppy purchases during lockdown and are not considering the long-term commitment owning a dog means.
From May 18, the RSPCA were allowed to start rehoming dogs again while lockdown is still ongoing. They are urging people to consider adopting a dog instead of buying.
Cllr James Evans, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “We have received concerns from reputable breeders and consumers that the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have brought about inflated prices for dogs and that consumers, who are seeking a certain breed of dog, maybe going to unreputable sellers and being charged extortionate prices.
“Dog ownership is a huge responsibility. Individuals must make sure that they are able to care for them and provide them with a happy and safe home - not just for the lockdown period but the rest of the dog’s life.
“We also want to remind people to do their research before purchasing a puppy and only buy from a reputable dog breeder and don’t pay extortionate prices.”
The RSPCA have also asked people to consider adopting a dog instead of buying one. The animal charity are now able to rehome dogs during lockdown after the Animal Welfare Network for Wales changed their guidance.
Lewis Clark, RSPCA public affairs adviser, said: "It is so important people do their research and are aware of unscrupulous traders looking to make murky profits without considering the welfare needs of animals.
"Anyone buying or adopting an animal must also consider whether this is the right decision for them long-term. During the current lockdown, this may be an ideal time to settle in a new pet, with plenty more time to give them love and attention. However, new owners will need to consider whether their lifestyle once some normality returns would be compatible with the responsibility of pet ownership."