As the current COVID-19 measures have meant we are spending more time in our homes and are choosing to go out in open spaces, many people have considered adopting a cute canine companion. Sounds ideal, right?
The thought of buying a puppy to help ease the difficulty of lockdown has clearly been followed through by many, as demand for a puppy has been so high in the UK that prices have soared.
Bill Lambert, head of health and welfare at the Kennel Club, has said that breeders have reported waiting lists for puppies increasing from 100 to 400 people.
Dogs Trust is now predicting that there will be up to 40,000 more stray or abandoned dogs as a result of the pandemic
With things slowly getting back to normal, all the extra time people have had to look after a dog is drifting away. This has led to concerns about the welfare of dogs in the future.
The Dogs Trust’s phrase, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” also rings true for the period of time we are in now.
There is huge concern that animals may be abandoned once life goes back to normal. Dogs Trust is now predicting that there will be up to 40,000 more stray or abandoned dogs as a result of the pandemic.
They are predicting this because economists are indicating that there will be an economic crash similar to the crisis in 2008, after which the number of abandoned and stray dogs increased by 25.6%.
If this year follows the same trend as 2009 after the recession, 1800 dogs may also be put to sleep by local authority shelters.
According to the RSPCA, 8 out of 10 dogs don’t cope when being left alone
Even if owners do not give up their pets due to the financial repercussions of the Coronavirus, they may still suffer remaining in their home.
Mr Sharp, chief executive of Dogs Trust has warned that dogs who have been given lots of attention during lockdown may suffer from separation anxiety. When we return to going out more and no longer working from home, dogs could be left alone for hours on end.
According to the RSPCA, 8 out of 10 dogs don’t cope when being left alone, and many do not show the tell-tale signs, such as destructive behaviour, howling and toileting as well as many others.
There are ways of overcoming separation anxiety, but it is important that owners take positive action rather than ignore the problem, leaving their pet in distress.
To those who are thinking about adopting a dog, make sure you take into account whether you can still take care of them properly in the future.
Re-homing can still take place as it has been adapted to fit with social distancing guidelines and would change the life of a dog which has been abandoned because of the pandemic
Think about your life before the pandemic, would you have been able to care for a dog then? If not, you may not be able to when your life gets back to normal.
Also consider the financial side of things, as a dog may be more expensive than you think. The cost of caring for a dog for its lifetime is at least £4,500-£13,000.
However, if you are fully committed, you might like to consider re-homing or fostering a dog. Re-homing can still take place as it has been adapted to fit with social distancing guidelines and would change the life of a dog which has been abandoned because of the pandemic.
If you feel that a dog will ease the difficulty of current times, why not re-home a dog which has been impacted by it too.
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