Charities are warning that pets are a life-commitment, not just for the lockdown period as Google searches for buying a puppy has soared by 120% and searches for adopting puppies increased even more to 133% according to digital agency Propellernet.
There's concern that a proportion of these new puppy owners will give up their pets once their normal lives resume, filled with commuting and after-work socialising with friends rather than staying at home and having time for long walks.
The animal welfare charity, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is temporarily changing its famous slogan, “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” to “a dog is for life, not just for lockdown". Owen Sharpe, the organisation's CEO has asked people to question themselves before going puppy shopping: “Are you ready to be chief pooper scooper? Are you ready to forego a lie-in ever again? As well as more serious questions around vet treatment and preparing for emergencies.”
It's not just the UK though - there has also been a surge in dog adoptions in the US. A Florida kennel that is usually full of stray and abandoned dogs was filled instead with cheering staff and volunteers because all of the animals found new homes in April. Meanwhile, a New York-based nonprofit foster and rescue organization for animals saw a 1,000%+ rise in applications in the New York area in March 2020 vs March 2019.
If you're considering buying or adopting a puppy, we'd suggest you take this questionnaire first just to make sure you're ready to make a commitment which you can sustain once lockdown is over.