Brits purchasing 'pandemic puppies' cost £400m in vet bills

Brits purchasing 'pandemic puppies' from dodgy breeders is costing ?400m a year in vet bills Pictures: Getty
(Picture: Getty)

With many of us working from home or reassessing what we really want from life, the pet industry is booming.

Kennel Club puppy registrations rose 26% between April and July, with predictions from animal welfare charities expecting a further spike in the run up to Christmas. Research from the Kennel Club found 41% with a pandemic puppy said they wanted a lockdown companion, and in total 41% of people who bought a puppy in the last year did not see the puppy with its mother and 53% did not see its breeding environment.
Pet care brand Bob Martin has identified a tenfold spike in demand for people looking to purchase a companion animal whilst in lockdown, with the cost of not rehoming or buying from responsible breeders reaching £400 million across the country. You may have read recent stories – including that of Love Islander Molly-Mae Hague – about perfectly healthy-seeming puppies being brought home only to become ill (and in some cases die) not long after.
Brits purchasing 'pandemic puppies' from dodgy breeders could cost £400m in vet bills
Parvovirus can cost £5,000 to treat (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This is being touted at ‘pet-fishing’, whereby breeders come across as responsible and careful online, but are running cruel and neglectful operations behind the scenes – and therefore selling very sick pets to unsuspecting customers.

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Of around 400,000 puppy farmed dogs sold in the UK, it’s thought that a fifth of these have a disease called parvovirus.

Parvovirus is extremely contagious and typically affects unvaccinated dogs, spreading through faeces and items infected dogs have touched. With parvovirus treatments costing up to £5,000, Bob Martin’s research estimates the yearly cost of puppy farming in the UK could be up to £400 million.

The company are now warning prospective pet owners to do their homework before purchasing a quarantine companion.

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