Coronavirus

The Kennel Club urges new dog owners to be ‘vigilant’ as lockdown eases

The group, which oversee canine activities such as dog shows, said potential new owners should avoid buying a puppy if the seller is offering to deliver it - as this allows ‘rogue traders’ and puppy farms to “hide horrific breeding conditions” from view

Following a year of emergency Covid-19 laws meaning puppies could be delivered to new homes, The Kennel Club is urging vigilance from would-be dog owners as domestic travel restrictions across Britain relax.

The group, which oversee canine activities such as dog shows, said potential new owners should avoid buying a puppy if the seller is offering to deliver it – as this allows “rogue traders” and puppy farms to “hide horrific breeding conditions” from view.

Instead the group is advising new dog owners to collect their puppy from where it was bred and raised – with its “littermates and mum”.

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Dr Ed Hayes, head of policy and public affairs at The Kennel Club, said:“Following a year of confusing and difficult Covid-19 rules for breeders, rescue organisations and potential new owners – alongside a huge demand for dogs – it’s crucial that the general public is clear on how to responsibly buy a puppy, as restrictions ease.” 

“If you’re buying a puppy which you’ve found online, travel restrictions across Great Britain now allow you to follow usual responsible puppy buying advice: Do not agree to have your puppy delivered to you or meet half-way.”

He added: “Ask for more than one virtual viewing to see where puppies have been brought up and the litter interacting with mum. Following relevant Covid guidelines, meet the breeder, puppies and mum outdoors ahead of purchase.

“There’s been a huge increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, but we need to protect our much-loved four-legged friends and learn to spot and avoid rogue breeders, many of whom are selling online and delivering to homes, hiding horrific conditions and contributing to a puppy welfare crisis.”

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