Some 15 per cent of dog owners in Scotland said the main reason for getting their puppy was to have a lockdown companion and 17 per cent because they were spending more time at home than usual.
Worryingly, though, over a quarter (28 per cent) spent less than two hours doing their research before getting a puppy, leaving them vulnerable to scams and unable to spot the signs of an unscrupulous breeder.
And one in ten puppy buyers in Scotland think their puppy could have originated from a puppy farm.
The findings were published by the Kennel Club this week as part of its #BePuppywise campaign – urging people to do proper research before getting a dog.
The campaign provides advice, tools and resources, from videos to top tips to help potential owners find the right dog and breeder, and prepare for their new family member, as well as new owners who are struggling with their pandemic puppy.
Bill Lambert, head of health and welfare at The Kennel Club, said: “Our dogs are certainly helping us through the pandemic, providing a welcome and happy distraction as Covid-19 causes anxiety, suffering and disruption across the nation.
“However, we do have concerns about those puppies which may have been bought on impulse, without owners doing their homework on how or where to get a dog responsibly or fully realising a puppy is a new family member for life, not a short-term commodity.
“These hasty decisions not only play into the hands of the scammers and puppy farmers operating during the pandemic but can also, sadly, result in puppies being rehomed if owners haven’t carefully considered how their dog will fit their ‘normal’ life.
“In the current climate it’s never been more crucial to be puppywise via extensive research, taking time to find the right dog and breeder and being aware of the red flags, as well as preparing for your new arrival and being a responsible owner.
“By wising up, you’re actively taking steps to prevent a potentially damaging lockdown legacy for puppies across the UK.”
The Kennel Club has produced a litter in lockdown video with Dragons Den entrepreneur and KC Assured Breeder, Jenny Campbell.
It shows puppy buyers what a responsible breeder looks like and how to be a responsible new owner during the pandemic.
Jenny said: “By being puppywise, and making use of the Kennel Club’s tips, expert advice and resources, your canine companion will be happy and healthy, providing you with a lifetime of happiness, fun and a new best friend.”
The video and more tips on how to #BePuppywise is available at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/be-puppywise.