People around the world have been spending more time at home since the start of 2020. For many of these people, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a pet.
In the UK alone, an estimated 3.2 million households have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic. Dogs were the most popular new acquisition (57%) with cats a close second (38%).
This sudden increase in pet ownership raises concerns about pet welfare. Puppies acquired during lockdown have been missing out on critical socialisation experiences and training, which is known to be associated with stress-induced behaviours ranging from nervousness to fear-based aggression.