Great Debate: Should there be a cap on puppy prices?

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Among the many issues caused by the pandemic, there was a sharp increase in puppy demand. Not only this sudden urge to get a pet without considering whether one would be able to care for them post-pandemic caused rescues no small amount of concern, but it also led to puppy prices increasing exponentially.

And, of course, unscrupulous breeders were quick to cash in; with puppies selling for thousands of pounds, they bred more and more to meet the demand without any concern for the welfare of the puppies, or their mothers. Dog owners were left watching in disbelief as prices shot through the roof, even for puppies bred by supposedly ethical breeders, and one of our readers asked: should there be a cap on those prices?

He wrote, “Do you at Dogs Today magazine think that if the price of puppies was capped at £1,000 – by government legislation if necessary – it would stop a lot of unscrupulous and bad breeding practices?”

“I know all the breeders would be against this idea but most of them are thinking of the money not the dogs’ best interests. We have had English cockers since the 80s; our last one we bought three years ago for £950, a fair price but, now her sister has just had a litter and we were going to have one until they announced the price of £3,000. We could afford it, but I refuse to pay ridiculous prices.”

The question was also raised online, where some were quick to point out that not only would the cap be difficult to enforce, but that it would hit ethical breeders much harder than it would hit puppy farmers, who churn out so many puppies they can lower prices and still make a good profit.

So we figured we’d put the question to you, our readers. What do you think – should there be a cap on puppy prices?

Let us know what you think here, in the comments on this Facebook post, or by writing to editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk with “Great Debate” in the subject line.

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