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

Vet Compass Project Type: Dog

RVC Pandemic Puppies logo

The initial RVC Pandemic Puppies survey is closed

Thank you to everyone who participated – we are delighted to report that we had 7545 responses. We will be releasing our findings in Spring/Summer 2021 (see below), but in the meantime click here to read our first newsletter.

What is the RVC Pandemic Puppies Survey?

We are investigating how, why and by whom puppies were purchased during the COVID pandemic in the UK and comparing this with puppies purchased in 2019. We also investigated the early life of Pandemic Puppies, including their health and behaviour.

How is the study being done?

We conducted an initial online survey with eligible dog owners (eligibility details below). The survey was open from 10 November to 31 December 2020.

Why is this study being conducted?

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 research?

Dr Rowena Packer, Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science, and Dr Dan O’Neill, RVC Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology are leading the project alongside Dr Claire Brand, Dr. Zoe Belshaw and Dr. Camilla Pegram.

Who was eligible to participate in this study?

Dog owners who met ALL of the following four criteria:

· Over 18 years of age.

· Resident in the United Kingdom.

· Bought a puppy of any breed or crossbreed home aged under 16 weeks during 2019 or 2020.

· Purchased a puppy from a private seller (i.e., did not breed them themselves, paid for the puppy AND did not obtain them from a formal rescue organisation, as we are interested in the process of buying a puppy).

When will the study results be published?

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

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