Dogs offer great emotional support and benefit to humans. In times of stress, urgency, and uncertainty - such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic - there is also an increased tendency for impulsive vs. well-considered decisions about many things, including the acquisition of dogs.
The prospect of bringing a cute, fluffy puppy (or adult dog) home now may seem like a win-win situation for both the human and the dog alike. However, we have already begun to see many troubling consequences of the 'Pandemic Puppy' phenomenon.
One of the key questions is whether people, in the rush to satisfy their short term needs, have really planned explicitly for the long term challenges of responsible dog ownership or just think they can 'figure it all out down the road'.
For example, most people will transition rather easily to going back to work and adjust to less time with their dog...but have they considered how easy will it be for the dog? Will separation anxiety affect the dogs' well-being when their owners return to their busy lives? If the owner loses his or her job, will they be able to cover the costs of food and veterinary care? Will this trend result in shelters getting inundated with Pandemic Puppies?
Even if a household is fully prepared for a four-legged addition, where will they get it? With the dramatically rising demand for dogs over the past few months, ethical breeders and animal shelters have been struggling to keep up. Sadly, this has provided an opportunity for puppy mills, smugglers, and irresponsible breeders to cash in on unsuspecting/uninformed would-be dog owners. Knowledge is key to ensuring that - if you decide that now really is a good time to welcome a dog into your family - you will be getting a happy, healthy dog from an ethical source.
To help prospective dog owners wade through the ups and downs of dog acquisition in the midst of COVID-19, we've begun compiling a collection of resources from IPFD, our Partners, other key stakeholder organizations and the media. We will continue adding resource as they become available.
Additional COVID-19 Content on DogWellNet.com
IPFD Partner and Collaborator COVID-19 Content
American Kennel Club - Resources, ideas, advice, and fun ways to help dog owners deal with the crisis: Coping With Coronavirus COVID-19 I Info for getting/training a puppy during the pandemic and considerations post COVID: Is Now The Right Time to Get a Puppy? How to Prepare During COVID-19
Canadian Kennel Club - Steps CKC is taking during this ongoing, evolving pandemic, health guidelines: COVID-19 Updates from the Canadian Kennel Club | The Canadian Kennel Club issued a media release on June 22, calling for regulatory change on the mass dog importation into Canada - following news of the tragic loss of dogs on a Ukrainian flight that recently arrived in Toronto. | July 8 CKC update on CFIA Statement on New Import Restrictions
Dutch Kennel Club - Increased demand for puppies, and support for puppy trainers: Raadar newsletter May 2020 (in Dutch)
Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) - News stories on the dark side of the lucrative puppy market and tips for ensuring people get puppies from ethical sources: 38 French Bulldog puppies died on flight from Ukraine to Canada
Finnish Kennel Club - Good life with a dog podcasts to support the purchase of a dog | Where to get a dog (In Finnish)
French Kennel Club - Answers to owners' questions related to COVID-19: SCC Newsletter
The Kennel Club - FAQs, advice and support: Statement on Kennel Club events and Coronavirus (Covid-19) | Advice to help prospective owners determine if they're ready for the commitment (at any time): Are you ready for a dog? | Tips for preventing dogs from being spooked by the sight of people in masks: How to introduce your dog to a face mask
Irish Kennel Club - Links to IKC policies etc. during the pandemic: Homepage
Swedish Kennel Club - Increase in puppy registrations during COVID: Allt fler skaffar hund (In Swedish)
German Kennel Club - Information for clubs and dog owners: Corona-Virus - Informationen für unsere Vereine und Hundehalter (in German)
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) - Advisory Documents, extensive resources for veterinary professionals and pet owners, animal welfare advice: COVID-19 – Advice and Resources
COVID-19 and Dogs: In the Media
There is an enormous amount of media coverage addressing the adoption/purchase of puppies and dogs during the pandemic. Below, we present a selection of stories reporting on some of the key issues. Many of the articles cover multiple aspects of pandemic puppies, but we've categorized them based on the overall focus of the story.
Although the bulk of the articles are from media outlets in North America and Europe, most of the information and issues are essentially universal around the globe.
Getting a Dog During COVID-19: Impulse Purchase or Part of a Long Term Plan (What Happens After Coronavirus?)
Issues of Supply and Demand (e.g., Ethical breeders vs Puppy Mills, Imports/Smuggling, Scams, Rising Prices)
Unique Challenges of Ownership (or Being a Dog) During the Pandemic
Personal Experiences of Pandemic Puppy Owners
Dog Health and Welfare During the Pandemic