In the wake of the global lockdowns, a surge in puppy adoptions became a heart-warming trend as people sought companionship during isolating times. Fast forward to today, and this canine companionship boom’s consequences are reshaping how we approach holiday plans. Recent news reports have shed light on the growing demand for house sitters, driven by the unique challenges posed by the lockdown puppies.
Dr. Samantha Gaines, head of companion animals at the charity, emphasized the impact of COVID-19 on dog behaviour, stating, “Operationally, we are seeing an increase in the more challenging dogs that are coming into our care, which we think is an impact of Covid.” The situation is compounded by the fact that many pandemic puppies were imported from outside the UK, lacking appropriate breeding and rearing practices.
A study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) revealed that these dogs, growing up in lockdown, faced challenges in proper socialisation due to fewer people visiting their homes. This lack of socialisation has resulted in some dogs developing separation anxiety, leading to destructive behaviour. Dr. Gaines, referencing new data from the RVC study, suggested that behaviour problems might only now be surfacing in some dogs, with the potential for more issues as they age.
What’s the Solution?
Now people are travelling again, the demand for house sitters has skyrocketed, offering a solution that allows pet owners to enjoy a worry-free break while ensuring their furry friends receive the attention and care they need and kept in their normal routine and environment. While the pandemic puppy boom has brought joy to many, the need for house sitters underscores the importance of addressing potential behavioural challenges in these pets. As we navigate the aftermath of increased dog ownership, it is crucial to prioritise the welfare of our furry friends, seeking professional help when needed and making informed decisions about pet care during holidays.
Reports suggest that this trend is not just a passing phase; it reflects a shift in lifestyle priorities. Lockdown puppies have become integral members of households, and as a result, the need for reliable house sitters has become more pronounced. The stories of dedicated sitters going above and beyond to provide loving care for these pandemic pets highlight the importance of this new role in the evolving landscape of travel and pet ownership.