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Dog breeding during the COVID-19 pandemic

Breeding puppies

With the normal gestation period in dogs being approximately 63 days, Naturewatch Foundation urges breeders to refrain from breeding dogs during the pandemic. If you already have a litter of puppies, stay in regular contact with the new owners by phone, email, video calls, and send photos. Do not arrange visits to your home to collect or view puppies as the government advice is to stay at home and away from others.

There will be concerns for breeders keeping puppies for longer than usual, including limited opportunities for puppy socialisation and the cost implications of feeding and exercising an entire litter of growing dogs. However, it is absolutely vital that everyone, that can, follows the guidelines at this time – which is to ‘stay at home, save lives’.

Selling puppies

In the current awful circumstances, the government has rightly advised against all non-essential travel. Police have already stopped and publicly shamed a puppy buyer on social media. Picking up a puppy from a breeder during the lockdown stage of a pandemic is not essential travel.

Naturewatch Foundation has written to the websites Gumtree, Pets4Homes and Preloved urgently asking them to take down all adverts for puppies and kittens. 

Buying puppies

You may have already put down a deposit for a puppy. Do not be tempted to travel to pick it up. Instead, arrange with the breeder to collect the puppy after the pandemic. The puppy may be bigger than at 8 weeks, but it will still be your loving companion. Any breeder who insists you pick up the puppy is asking you to risk your safety. If they don’t care for your health and safety, they may not care for the dogs they breed. Puppy farmers don’t care about you or your family. 

Vets are also under extreme pressure during this period.  Due to the current measures set out by the government, vets are having to limit appointments, and vaccinations and microchipping may not be taking place at your local vets. Puppies require immunisations and microchipping by law. Under normal circumstances, it is strongly advised to get your local vet to carry out a health check on your new puppy. Sadly, many farmed puppies carry the Parvovirus, which is deadly if left untreated. Don’t buy a puppy during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Take part in our campaign today. Contact Gumtree, Pets4Homes and Preloved to ask them to stop advertising puppies!


After the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

The government has recently issued clear advice to the public on how best to avoid illegal puppy farmers. This advice includes meeting the breeder in person at the place where the puppy was bred, meeting the puppy and its mother in advance of purchase and exchanging a puppy contract. More information is available throughout our website and on the government site.

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May 2020

Read our updated blog, published in the summer of 2020: Puppies in a Pandemic