‘A Dog Is For Life®, Not Just For Lockdown’ – Dogs Trust asks the nation: is now really the right time for you to get a dog?


Charity worries about impending puppy crisis as online searches to ‘get a puppy’ rise by 120% 

Dogs Trust is asking the public to weigh up if they are truly ready for the realities of dog ownership before taking the leap, as searches to get a dog have shot up in the past month while the country has been advised to stay at home.  

Whether people are getting a dog for companionship or because they’re around more to train them, the charity is concerned there may be a spike in people giving up their dog when normality resumes and reality sinks in. This is the sad reality that often follows Christmas when people also get dogs on a whim. 

Dog ownership can be rewarding but caring for a dog when you are at home 24/7 is not the norm, so the charity is temporarily tweaking its famous slogan to ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’ to get everyone to think twice before going ahead with a puppy purchase. 

Millions of us are working from home and Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 120% 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. 

The UK’s largest dog welfare charity has created an online quiz for potential new dog owners to test themselves on whether they truly are ‘dog-ready’. 

In the long-term, are you ready… 

  • To completely change your schedule (& give up lie ins!)
  • For more time spent at home or the expense of a dog sitter/walker 
  • For walks in all weather 
  • To devote time to training, games and fun with your furry friend
  • To spend £££s every month on food, treats, insurance & other doggy essentials
  • For furniture covered in fur
  • To think for two - a night out, a holiday or a weekend away all mean planning for your pooch too!
  • To be chief pooper scooper
  • To learn the language of your dog so you can give them everything they need

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’.  

“We have been completely overwhelmed by offers of support from the public, both wanting to foster one of our dogs or to offer a home, which is allowing us to rehome a small number of dogs. We are speaking in great depth to these families, and looking to life beyond lockdown – to ensure they can give the same amount of time, love and care when normal life resumes, and that’s what we recommend for anyone considering getting a dog at this time.

“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 (very smelly) 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.” 

We are now calling on people to take the test and see how ‘dog-ready’ they truly are. For more information and to take our fun test, visit dogstrust.org.uk/dogready.