Damning’ KC research exposes buying habits

Results from a survey by The Kennel Club have revealed "hugely disappointing" and "reckless" attitudes from potential owners when it comes to buying a puppy. 

People are more likely to buy a puppy on impulse than a pair of shoes, research has revealed.

A fifth of respondents to a survey by The Kennel Club (KC) admitted they spent no time researching where to buy their puppy, compared to less than 1 in 10 who decided which shoes to buy on impulse and 13% who chose what to watch on Netflix on the spur of the moment.

Almost a quarter of respondents spent five minutes or fewer researching where to buy a puppy, yet 22% admitted to investing half an hour or more choosing a new pair of shoes.

The survey revealed choosing a puppy took 36% of people 20 minutes or fewer, compared with 16% prepared to be “reckless” with the time spent on their weekly supermarket shop, The KC said.

‘Hugely disappointing’

Choosing a puppy in haste not only leaves people more vulnerable to puppy farmer scams, but could see them suffer emotionally and financially in the wake of snap decisions, warned The KC, which branded the research as “damning”.

The KC’s health and breeder services manager Bill Lambert said the team was extremely surprised so many people could make such a rash decision on something so important.

He said: “The fact people do more research when buying a new pair of shoes than a puppy is, quite frankly, unbelievable and hugely disappointing.

“It is also hugely disappointing to see people still making so many bad choices when the advice and help is out there for them… from The KC and welfare agencies to vets.”

Assured breeders

One of the ways The KC attempts to simplify the, often, complex puppy purchasing process is to encourage potential owners to use assured breeders.

This chimes with the fact the Government is considering licensing dog breeders, a step welcomed by The KC.

However, Mr Lambert said it was vital good breeders were not tied up in red tape as a result of such legislative change and the system allowed them to showcase the fact they already demonstrated good practice, which could inspire others to adopt similar high standards. He wants to see more cooperations between vets, agencies and breeders to tackle the issue.

The KC secretary Caroline Kisko said “careless and clueless” puppy buying habits were causing suffering and the research was a wake-up call for anyone who cared about dog welfare.

The research comes in the wake of new findings that reveal dog breeding defects to be the number one health and welfare concern for UK vets.

  • Read the full story in the 18 September issue of Veterinary Times.