Pet shops or superstores are great places to stock up on food, treats and all manner of dog accessories. This does not make them the ideal place from which to get a dog, however. We urge people who are considering buying a dog to think first before buying from a dog superstore. These superstores consider dogs to be profit making commodities with minimal consideration for their welfare or indeed what kind of home it will end up in.
Thanks to the success of the well known slogan ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas’ the percentage of dogs given as gifts has fallen radically from 20% in 1978 to 1.8% last year; however, that means there are still 131,400 dogs given as gifts every year. With the opening of more dog superstores in the UK we are fearful that people will start to go dog shopping again without thinking thoroughly about the commitment and money it takes to own a dog for a lifetime.
Our biggest concern is that the dogs bought from these pet superstores are being sold to owners who may not always be responsible and could abandon their dog once challenges arise. Unsuitable puppies are being bought at too young an age by people with no gardens who are out at work all day. Without the right amount of human contact and training when young, a dog can become destructive, depressed and sometimes aggressive.
We would also expect that many of the dogs bought from these stores to have behavioural issues, poor immune systems and to suffer from stress all due to the fact that they have been taken away from their mother far too early into an extremely unnatural environment. As a result, we also fear a huge knock on effect on our Rehoming Centres.