Nearly two-thirds of Scots are worried about what will happen to dogs that were bought during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
The Kennel Club study, part of its Open for Dogs campaign, suggests 64% of people in Scotland are worried the pets will be abandoned when “normal” life resumes.
Across the UK, nearly one in five respondents (17%) admitted they have considered rehoming as an option post-lockdown.
The study also found almost half (49%) of Scots say there are not enough businesses accommodating four-legged friends despite their benefits – especially as the country has dealt with Covid-19.
More than three in five (62%) people agreed more customers would visit venues such as pubs and cafes which struggled during lockdown if dogs were also allowed in.
Bill Lambert, The Kennel Club spokesman, said: “This new research worryingly shows that if dogs can’t go to places with their owners, and fit their lifestyle post-pandemic, some will be left home alone for too long, or even sadly rehomed or abandoned.
“These consequences could be quite devastating for the nation’s dogs, who frankly don’t deserve to be left behind after being there for so many during lockdown.
“Hospitality, businesses and workplaces can play a role in combatting the looming welfare crisis faced by this pandemic pup generation by being open for dogs; helping owners to introduce or re-introduce their pet to ‘normal’, without leaving them behind, and preventing a legacy of separation anxiety.
“Following a year of lockdown restrictions impacting business, dog friendly policies can also reap economic benefits across the board – according to our research more than one in two owners claim they would happily stay longer and spend more if their dog was with them whilst out socialising at a pub, cafe or restaurant.
“While there may have been some short-sighted puppy buying decisions made during the pandemic, as a dog-loving nation we must look at the bigger picture and encourage more places to welcome dogs, capitalise on the benefits and ‘paw it back’, easing our four-legged friends out of lockdown, opening up more widely for their re-entry to ‘normal’ life, and celebrating their positive place within our society.
“Dogs should be a part of our lives and daily routines as much as possible, and we hope to see the UK being as faithful to dogs as they are, and have been, to us.”