The COVID-19 pandemic has in one way or another that affected everybody around the world but the group that doesn’t seem to be spoken about as much as our pets and animals in general.
I can only comment on what I know. And that is dogs.
As a dog trainer, the biggest issue I am currently seeing is separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety treatment has gone through the roof in the UK. Now people might think this is a good thing for the dog trainer a lot more work = more money but trust me, I would rather not have to see these poor animals suffer. Separation Anxiety is one of the hardest and most difficult things to train out of a dog. It is not a simple task. And unfortunately, most people do not have the time or the knowledge to do this.
Now with the world of human backup, we’re about to see an even bigger spike in separation anxiety and our pets, mainly dogs and this is simple to see why this has happened.
During lockdown, people were not able to leave the house. Many people who have always wanted to get a dog, got a dog.
Everybody had the time, everybody had the money to go out and buy themselves a dog. Now, like I said with the world opening back up, suddenly there is now no time for the dog. The dogs are now being left at home while everybody goes back to work and carrying on with their life the same as before they got their dog.
The lock downs have also brought more cost, we have seen a massive boom in price. As many of you who have recently bought a puppy will know the price of dogs have quadrupled. And paperless dogs are now worth thousands of pounds. The nock on effect of this is that everybody across the country has become a dog breeder and are inventing new ways of breeding the dogs creating more social media friendly dogs. Dogs that are technically deformed with shorter logs and incorrect characteristics. Colours that are not breed standard that carry genetical faults are more prized and being bred from. Many people have now destroyed a lot of breeds and are making a very nice living from this.
Growing up with a father who bred Rottweilers, there was one common mission in breeding dogs, and that is to better the breed, to improve the breed.
We can also see how much the pandemic has affected the training of these new puppies that have been bred and bought throughout lockdowns, simply there is no training. Due to owner lack of knowledge of importance, classes not running, trainers unable to work puppies are growing up not learning vital skills and most importantly not being socialised.
This all falls into the future of what I believe to be the future pandemic for our dogs.
It is my belief that the pandemic for our pets has not yet begun.
My biggest concern has already started to happen, a lot of these dogs that have been bought in lockdown who’s owners don’t have time for them, don’t have the money to pay the expensive vet bills caused by poor breeding are going to end up in one place, Rescue centres.
We are going to see a dramatic increase in the amount of dogs in our shelters and rescue centres. charities will be overloaded with what is already and impossible task
I do not blame these people who have bought a dog throughout lockdown.
They wasn’t educated, they wasn’t told what was needed, what was going to be required that the world was going to go back to normal. Social media drove dog sales, everybody thought it was the right idea to get a dog. But unfortunately, not everybody should have a dog and it is our shelters and rescues that are going to pay the price for this. There is going to be 1000s upon 1000s of dogs now without a home living in the shelters and how far can it go? There are only so many spaces for these dogs.
So for me, this is the future pandemic of our pets.