According to Dogs Trust, internet searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 120 percent during the first month of lockdown. Whether it was the thought of self-isolating alone or more flexible working opportunities, a significant amount of people across the UK took the decision to purchase a new pet.
This huge surge in demand has led to a dramatic increase in ‘puppy-farming’ – where dogs are bred in large quantities with the sole purpose of being sold. The animals are often housed in poor conditions and in many cases face long-term health issues because of in-breeding.
Dogs are for life, not just for lockdown
Although purchasing a pet is often an exciting moment, charities such as Battersea Dogs Home and the RSPCA have advised that it is a decision nobody should rush into. There is a lot of responsibility and costs associated with owning a pet. According to the PDSA, it costs between £4,500 – £13,000 to look after a dog over its lifetime, which is excluding any potential medical issues.
With dogs from ‘puppy-farms’ more likely to develop serious medical ailments, owners will likely face significantly increased insurance premiums as a result. This is leading many animal welfare organisations to warn about the increased risk of pets purchased during lockdown being abandoned once it ends – as people realise they do not have the finances or time to care for an animal who may need regular veterinary appointments.
Pets providing positivity
Despite this, there are also many positive effects of owning a pet. A new study has found that pets can increase a person’s physical and mental well-being during lockdown. With self-isolating being a lonely and unfamiliar time for many, people have found comfort and consistency in the company of new pets.
In a post-COVID world 45 percent of Brits predict there will be a permanent change to their employers’ approach to agile working – meaning more people will be working from home and able to give their pets the time and attention they need.
At Aquarium, we take every opportunity to celebrate our love of pets. We will soon be hosting a ‘introduce your puppy to AQ day’ which will tie in with the year anniversary of ‘bring your dog to work day’. With our working approach becoming increasingly more flexible, we look forward to seeing our employees spend more well-deserved time with their furry friends.