An animal welfare charity is reminding people to consider adoption rather than buying a new puppy.
The RSPCA is warning people to be wary of puppy farms and to take extra care when buying a puppy.
It wants people to make sure they consider adopting a pet before they buy.
Demand for puppies surged during the lockdowns over the last 18 months as families were able to spend more time looking after a new furry family member.
The average price of dogs went up a lot last year, reaching a figure of £2,237 in March. However, it is now finally dropped to £1,873.
There are currently thousands of dogs and puppies for sale on website Pets4Homes.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “The RSPCA would always encourage people to adopt rather than buy, but if people want to buy a puppy, then they need to be extremely careful.
“We know that there are unscrupulous people out there who want to exploit the demand for dogs and are willing to take advantage of families who want to add a dog to their home.
“Sadly, this comes at the expense of the dogs. During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the import of puppies.
“These dogs are often bred in poor conditions overseas and are taken from their mums too young, put into a van with lots of other puppies, this is the perfect breeding ground for nasty diseases and infections like parvovirus, before being travelled thousands of miles and imported into the country.”
Puppies bred in poor conditions can be exposed to stressful experiences and may not have the correct vaccinations or health checks.
This means that diseases could infect the dog population – and could even be transferred to humans.
The RSPCA believes it is better to adopt a pet as it can provide the animals with a second chance in life and free up another space for an animal in need at a rescue centre.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “Adopting an animal means you will be well-matched with a pet making sure your lifestyle and circumstances are compatible with one another.
“We can give you lots of information about their behaviour, and temperament and an animal adopted from the RSPCA will also have had all the relevant vaccinations and will be neutered where appropriate too.
“There is also frequently support available post-adoption for new owners from the RSPCA.”
As life is returning back to normal with restrictions being lifted, some dogs are at risk of being abandoned or re-sold as people have less time to care for them.
This means that the country is risking a ‘puppydemic’ according to the MailOnline.
However, UK managing director at Pets4Homes, Lee Gibson, said: ‘We are now seeing previous trends reversed with lower demand for pets while simultaneously the number of pets available for rehoming has risen dramatically.
“A widespread notion regarding the surge in pet ownership during Covid-19 is that people are now abandoning their ‘pandemic puppies’ by re-selling them or giving them up for adoption.
“However, thus far, our data shows this surge in advertisements can be traced back to new litters – not re-selling.”
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