Many people spend more time choosing a pair of shoes or their weekly supermarket shop than they do a puppy and with devastating consequences, according to new research from the Kennel Club.
Almost a quarter (23 percent) of people will spend five minutes or less researching where to buy a puppy, but a similar percentage (22 percent) will invest half an hour or more when choosing a new pair of shoes.
Choosing a puppy will take 36 percent of people 20 minutes or less, compared to just 16 percent who are prepared to be so reckless with the time spent on their weekly supermarket shop.
And one in five (20 percent) of people admit that they spent no time researching where to buy their puppy at all, compared to just 8 per cent who decide which shoes to buy on impulse, or 13 percent who spontaneously decide what to watch on Netflix.
Our hasty and impulsive puppy buying habits are having dramatic consequences.
Almost a sixth (15 percent) of pups got sick in the first six months, with some needing ongoing veterinary treatment or dying, if their owner had chosen them than 20 minutes or less.
This is three times higher than those pups who experienced ill health, ongoing health problems or death if their owners had spent an hour or more researching where to buy.
Similarly, more than one fifth (21 percent) of people claim to have suffered emotional hardship, and the same (21 percent) claim financial hardship after buying a puppy if they spent between 20 minutes or less researching where to buy their puppy, compared to 7 percent suffering emotional hardship and 8 percent suffering financial hardship for those who spent an hour or more finding out where they should buy their puppy.
In total almost a quarter (22 per cent) who bought their puppy in 20 minutes or less think that they bought from a puppy farm, compared to just 7 percent who spent more than an hour researching where to buy.
Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club, which runs Puppy Awareness Week, said: “This research is a wake-up call for anybody who cares about dog welfare as a rather terrifying picture is emerging of a nation of people who are careless when it comes to choosing where and how to buy a dog, and who feel clueless about where they would begin, if they were to attempt to do this responsibly.
“The result is puppies with all manner of health and behavioural problems being sold via the internet, pet shops or social media to people who don’t know the true background of the pups and who pay the price in veterinary bills and heartache, as they watch their beloved pet suffer.”
The Kennel Club has compiled the dos and don’ts of buying a puppy for its Puppy Awareness Week, which can be downloaded from the website www.thekennelclub.org.uk/paw.