Over a third of dogs bought during the pandemic have never even been to the park

Pet Dog Looking out of Window
Poor pup just wants to visit the park (Picture: Getty Images)

With more people working from home (some indefinitely since the pandemic), puppy sales have hit an all time high.

However, a new survey shows that these puppies might not have been getting the best start in life, with a large proportion never having been out of their home.

Research from pet wellness company Itch, surveyed Brits who bought or adopted a dog during the last 12 months to understand the challenges facing pet owners as they think about entering a post-pandemic world/

Their findings showed that 62% of lockdown pups have never been in an environment other than their home, and two in five haven’t yet met another dog.

As well as this almost half (49%) haven’t been introduced to children, and 36% haven’t even been to the park.

Sadly, 40% of new dog owners have experienced regrets about their purchase, with one in five not realising the work involved in raising and caring for a puppy.

closeup asleep buldog on sofa at home
Relaxing is good, but dogs need to be around other dogs and people (Picture: Getty Images)

A third admit to now realising that their lockdown dog was bought from a puppy farm and that same amount are considering putting their lockdown pups up for adoption once life returns to normal.

No night vision goggles needed! Dogs’ eyes contain a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.

Andrew Pinnington, CEO at Itch, commented: ‘The results of the research demonstrate how we need to be turning our attention to the “new normal”, whenever that may be.

‘As well as how we can help reintegrate our pups back into a post-pandemic society so they can have a rich and fulfilling life.’

Getting back to that is a worrying prospect for pandemic puppy-buyers, as nearly three quarters said they were worried about separation anxiety if they go back to work out of the house.

There was some good news. Over 40% of owners feel that their pet helps with their own fitness and mental health. They just need to socialise their pet before 16 weeks.

Dog trainer Oli Juste commented on the findings: ‘It’s extremely worrying to read that 62% of “lockdown pups” haven’t been in an environment other than their home yet.

‘Although you can always train an older dog new tricks, when it comes to socialisation, we only have a small window to get it done. The socialisation period needs to be done & dusted by the 16th week or about. These dogs will therefore need special attention. ‘

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Pitter patter. A large breed dog’s resting heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, and a small dog breed’s heart beats between 100-140. Comparatively, a resting human heart beats 60-100 times per minute.

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