Three-fold increase in puppy buying via social media

Three-fold increase in puppy buying via social media

Thousands of new owners every year are fooled by rogue dog breeders who hide behind the internet and puppy deliveries, the Kennel Club has warned.

New research shows a three-fold increase in people buying puppies on social media in the past five years, with almost a third (31%) admitting they didn’t see their puppy in person before purchasing and nearly a quarter (23%) having their puppy delivered or picking it up from a neutral location.

While this was a common practice during lockdown, welfare organisations including the Kennel Club have urged buyers to avoid ‘click and collect’ and ‘click and drop’ puppy buying because it enables rogue sellers to disguise poor breeding conditions and the true background of the puppies.

Worryingly, more than a third of puppies bought virtually die or get sick before their first birthday.

Amongst virtually bought puppies, the Kennel Club research also showed that:

  • one in three (33%) developed unexpected behavioural issues;
  • they had double the number of trips to the vet for non-routine treatment or checks in their first year, when compared to those who met their owners in real life before purchase; and
  • around a quarter of owners who didn’t see their puppy before paying suffered emotional (28%) and financial (24%) hardship during their puppy buying experience.

As living costs continue to escalate, there are fears for the long-term future of tens of thousands of puppies needing expensive behavioural and veterinary care, as the research reveals that 40% of those who didn’t see their puppy before buying are afraid that they can no longer afford the cost.

“Puppy buyers should be cautious of adverts using words that try to lure you in with promises of ‘rare’ or ‘exotic’ dogs, or a quick sale, as a good breeder, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, will always ask questions about your suitability for dog ownership, and you will often need to be prepared to go on a waiting list,” said Mark Beazley, chief executive of the Kennel Club.

“You should see the puppy interacting with its mum, where it was bred and reared in real life, so clever guises, marketing ploys or tactics to disguise a puppy’s true background to simply make a huge profit are exposed.”

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