Dogs Trust is temporarily tweaking its famous slogan to ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’, as it asks the public to weigh up if they are truly “dog ready” before taking the leap and getting a dog.
“Searches to get a dog have shot up since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown,” a Dogs Trust statement says. “Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 120 per cent in the month after lockdown was announced on 23 March. ‘Adopt a puppy’ saw an even bigger rise of 133% in online searches, according to data from Propellernet.”
Before the lockdown, as the country was advised to go in self-isolation, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home also reported a sharp increase of adoptions compared to the same time period in 2019. While it is possible that many are responsible owners who are taking advantage of the extra time at home to help a new dog settle in, Dogs Trust worries that some will find themselves struggling once the emergency is over and they slowly resume their normal schedule.
Dogs Trust has created an online quiz for potential new dog owners to test themselves on whether they truly are ‘dog ready’.
Dogs Trust’s Chief Executive, Owen Sharp, said, “Dog ownership can be so rewarding, but it’s also a huge responsibility which is why we are reminding people today that ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’.
“Like Christmas, when people are at home more, they might think now is the perfect time to get a dog. For some people this will be the case, but we’re asking people to consider when the lockdown lifts how your life will need to change to accommodate your four-legged friend.
“We’re encouraging potential dog owners to carry out our new test to see if you’re Dog Ready. Are you ready to be chief pooper scooper? Are you ready to forego a lie in ever again? As well as more serious questions around vet treatment and preparing for emergencies. If there is still a dog shaped space in your life, then it may be the right time for you.”
Graham Norton, owner of Labradoodle Bailey, TV presenter and Dogs Trust supporter, said, “As a dog owner myself, I know how much joy four-legged friends bring to our lives. I’ve certainly found that my gorgeous dog, Bailey, has taken the boredom out of lockdown for me, and I’ve really enjoyed spending even more time with him than usual.
“However, whilst the thought of introducing a cute, fluffy pooch to your family right now might be appealing, I fully support Dogs Trust’s important message that ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’. Don’t forget that you still have to walk a dog on a rainy evening, and pick up their poo in the dark!
“Please remember that life will go back to ‘normal’ at some point with people returning to work and school, and when this happens you need to think about whether you can still fit a dog into your life. Taking a look at Dogs Trust’s ‘are you dog ready’ test is a great place to start if you’re thinking about getting a dog.”
Main image by Dogs Trust