People: Claire Brand, Rowena Packer, Dan O'Neill

Vet Compass Project Type: Dog

RVC Pandemic Puppies logo

What is the RVC Pandemic Puppies Survey?

We will be investigating how, why and by whom puppies were purchased during the COVID pandemic in the UK and compare this with puppies purchased in 2019.

How is the study being done?

We are conducting an online survey with eligible dog owners (eligibility details below). The survey will remain open until 31 December 2020. 

Why are we running this study?

We want to investigate a variety of factors in the puppy buying process which may influence dog welfare. The information collected will help us provide support to owners regarding their dogs’ future welfare, and will inform future educational messaging on how best to buy a puppy to promote dog welfare.

Who is co-ordinating this survey?

Dr Rowena Packer, Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science, alongside Dr Dan O’Neill, RVC Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology supported by a team of experienced RVC researchers. The study is generously funded by the Animal Welfare Foundation.

Who is eligible to participate in this study?

We would like to hear from dog owners who meet ALL of the following four criteria:

  • Are over 18 years of age.
  • Resident in the United Kingdom.
  • Brought a puppy of any breed or crossbreed home aged under 16 weeks during 2019 or 2020.
  • Purchased your puppy from a private seller (i.e. you did not breed them yourself, you paid for the puppy AND you did not obtain them from a formal rescue organisation, as we are interested in the process of buying a puppy).

N.B. Even if you no longer own your puppy/dog, we would still like to hear from you.

If you acquired more than one puppy (e.g. one in 2019 and one in 2020, or two puppies during 2020), we ask that you answer for whichever is currently the youngest of these. If two dogs are the same age (e.g. littermates) then please answer for the puppy whose name comes first alphabetically.

We ask for only ONE response per household; the survey would ideally be completed by the person most involved in the purchasing decision.

Take the survey →

How long does the survey take to complete?

Completion of the entire survey will take approximately 20 minutes of your time, but can contribute hugely to a lifetime of improved welfare for dogs in the future. If you do not have a full 20 minutes to spare, there is an option to complete a shorter set of questions which will take approximately 15 minutes.

When will the study results be published?

A peer-reviewed paper from this study will be submitted in Spring 2021, which will hopefully be published in an ‘open access journal’ (free for all to access) by Summer 2020. We will share the results of our study via the RVC website and social media channels and will send a copy of the paper to all owners who indicate they would like this and provide an email address to contact them at the end of the survey.

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