Puppy Shortage & Price Rises
Since Coronavirus Crisis
One of the most surprising outcomes of the Coronavirus lockdown is that we now face a puppy shortage here in the UK.
I was initially worried that puppies born in lockdown could not be sold due to social distancing restrictions and hoped that breeders would stop mating dogs until we entered a time of more certainty.
How wrong could I be?
It seems that puppies are more popular than ever before. Some breeders have doubled their prices and many have waiting lists for dogs that have not even been conceived yet.
What really worries me is that puppies are being sent into the country from abroad and passed on to new owners through an agent. This practice is illegal and so dangerous because owners are buying puppies ‘unseen’ without any knowledge of the dog’s parentage or health state. Some have been supplied with fake veterinary records, without vaccinations and subjected to lengthy transportation into the country.
Lucy’s Law came into force this year to prohibit puppy farming. From April, breeders have to sell puppies from their place of birth and not through a third party breeder.
If you would like to know more about Lucy’s Law, here is a link to a blog post that explains more.
Selling puppies from abroad disregards the new rules, takes advantage of new puppy owners but most of all, it puts puppy’s lives at risk.
This way of selling puppies is going ahead in undercover practices which makes it difficult to know how large the problem is. However, vets have spoken out about the increase of puppies they are seeing that have been purchased abroad. They are concerned that due to the puppy shortage people will turn to puppy farms and backstreet breeders who are exploiting the situation.
Why Do People Want A Puppy During Lockdown?
People have busy lives and for many, they have always wanted a dog, but never felt like it was the right time. Now, with people furloughed from work or working from home, they feel that they finally have the time to welcome a puppy to their home.
Some are lonely and crave the companionship that a dog gives.
Parents feel that a puppy will stop children from getting bored. Many schools are shut and children can’t take part in all the usual activities that they would normally participate in.
I totally understand all these reasons but people have got to know that at some stage life will go back to normal. Puppies that have been showered with love and affection will suddenly be left alone for huge parts of the day.
They may suffer from separation anxiety and become destructive because they are bored, lonely, and suffering from anxiety. People will want to go on holiday at some stage in the future and they may not have thought about who will look after the dog when the family is away.
One good thing that has arisen from the puppy shortage is that rescues are reporting huge increases in foster and adoption applications. This means that homeless dogs in kennels can be offered wonderful homes, which is amazing news.
However, rescues are anticipating a rise in dogs returning to shelters when the lockdown restrictions are lifted and people’s lives return to normal. Suddenly they will realise that they don’t have the time needed to give a dog everything that he or she needs.
Are You Thinking Of Fostering Or Adopting A Dog?
There is loads of information about dog rescue on this website. I have fostered and adopted in the past and have talked about my personal experiences.
Here is my own account of Dog Fostering.
Also, if you are thinking of adopting a dog, the following post includes all the questions you need to ask before adopting and what you need to do to pass a home check.
The large rescues are being inundated with applications to foster or adopt so it is a good idea to search for small local rescues who may desperately need help.
Advice For Anyone Looking For A Puppy
I understand how frustrating it is if you are ready to welcome a new addition to your home but the puppy shortage is affecting you.
My advice would be to wait until things return back to normal.
Don’t be tempted to pay huge amounts for a puppy, make sure that you see the mother of your pup, and don’t buy a dog from abroad.
A genuine breeder would never pass a puppy to a complete stranger at the side of a road. They want their puppies to go to good homes and will ask questions about how you intend to take care of the dog. They are happy to show the puppy’s mother and will keep the puppy until he/she is at least eight weeks old.
Here is some additional reading for anyone who is thinking of buying a puppy.
I hope this information has been helpful.
Have you had any experience of trying to acquire a puppy during lockdown? I would love to hear your stories.
Thank you for reading and please stay safe everyone.