Almost one in ten Brits who have bought a puppy ended up giving it away after just one month, according to a new survey.
New research by pet food brand Forthglade has revealed that a large number of Brits have bought a dog on a whim, resulting in nine percent re-homing the animal after as little as four weeks of buying it.
Over a quarter (26 percent) said the reality of the commitment of having to look after the puppy was simply too much to take on.
More than quarter (26 percent) said that having bought a puppy, it caused too much damage to the house, while a further 24 percent admitted they struggled to train the dog. A further 24 percent said they were totally unprepared for the expense.
According to the report, over half (54 percent) admitted they realised it was a mistake as soon as they brought the puppy home, with one in twenty dumping the animal with a dog’s charity and a further three percent relying on elderly parents to take the burden.
Forthglade published the report ahead of National Puppy Day (23rd March), to mark the launch of its ‘Prepare for Puppy’ campaign, backed by TV vet and dog owner, Steve Leonard, who said: “The results of this poll are deeply concerning.
“Unfortunately, there is a real lack of education around what is involved when taking on a puppy. Raising a dog of any age requires consistent, gentle handling, teaching and care; and this is never more crucial than when you welcome a puppy into your family.”
He added: “Preparation is everything – from vaccinations and puppy-proofing to ensuring your dog has a nourishing, balanced diet. There will be so much to learn about your puppy, his needs, his character and his health.
“Getting to know your new puppy won’t happen overnight but there is nothing more heart-warming than seeing the bond between an older dog and its owner, from a lifetime working together to make each other’s lives better – and this comes from getting it right from the start. I hope this campaign helps to promote all the considerations necessary before people rush out and get a puppy.”
Some 22 percent said they had made the decision to buy a puppy because they thought it would complete their family, 12 percent said their partner convinced them it was a good idea, while a further 11 percent bought a dog simply to encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle.
When it comes to the reality of looking after a puppy, a quarter think it is as hard as having a newborn baby.
Overall, 38 percent said they had second thoughts after buying a puppy, while a further 40 percent admitted they completely underestimated the commitment required to raise a happy, healthy dog.
According to the poll, 36 percent said the huge vet bills and pet insurance were a challenge, while a further 27 percent said they found cleaning up after the dog the hardest part.
The average dog owner says they realised after one month of buying a puppy that it was far more of a challenge then they previously thought.
In fact, a staggering 61 percent said, on reflection, an older dog would have been easier than getting a puppy.
A further 39 percent said they wished they had known more about how to care for a puppy before they had made the decision to get one, while 13 percent admitted they had done absolutely no research whatsoever before committing to getting a dog.
Gerard Lovell, managing director at Forthglade, said: “We know a puppy is bought with the best intentions, but when the reality of the situation hits home, that’s when the panic sets in. Welcoming a dog into the family can be a wonderful experience, but sadly if you’re not fully prepared, things can go wrong very quickly and this is when we see puppies being dumped at rescue centres or sold on online. We hope this campaign will make people stop, do more research and decide whether a puppy is right for them.”