Animal shelters busier than ever
During lockdown with more people forced to stay at home, the rise in dog ownership sky-rocketed. Lockdown dogs and cats have kept us company, given us something to do, forced us to get out and get exercise, and have been the saviours of our mental health.
But recently, animal shelters have seen a worrying rise in pets being abandoned, given up, or needing rescue. Dogs Trust reported a 39% increase in phone calls to hand over dogs since "Freedom Day" on 12 July 2021.
For this reason, it is now more important than ever to fit your cat or dog with a collar-mounted GPS pet tracker. If they get out, you can track them down and bring them home safely, taking pressure off animal shelters while you take steps to make them feel happier and safer.
The mounting pressures on animal shelters
At the height of lockdown, an estimated 3.2 million owners adopted a new pet, with man’s best friend topping the bill. But many owners have since found dogs too much to handle now their lives have returned to normal, with some unaware of the responsibility and costs attached before buying.
According to the Dogs Trust, traffic to their website for the “giving up your dog” pages doubled between February 2020 and 2021. The single biggest reason that dogs get handed into shelters is because of unwanted behaviours such as chewing things up, urinating indoors, and incessant barking and howling.
These are all signs of separation anxiety, which has become a worrying trend in lockdown dogs. The RSPCA estimated that separation anxiety may affect up to 85% of dogs, with eight out of ten struggling to cope when left alone.
Another big problem shelters are facing was the impulsive lockdown purchase of dogs, which have led to buyer’s remorse, and many being given up or abandoned. Buying a dog is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The RSPCA advocate doing plenty of research before buying, and taking necessary precautions like buying a dog tracker is a sure-fire way to keep your dog safe if you do decide to commit.
The rise in dogs running away or being stolen
Life in lockdown has meant fewer walks for some dogs, which has caused problems of its own. Further unwanted behaviours can develop, such as becoming nervous around strange dogs, people, and other animals, as well as panicking in crowds or when hearing loud noises. If frightened or overly excited, it is far more likely that your dog may run away.
After the surge in dog ownership during lockdown, the average price of puppies jumped up, and this has made them the target of thieves eager for a quick and easy profit. This is a frightening prospect, and one dog owners need to be wary of. The Leicestershire Police have advised people not to leave pets alone outside, and to ensure gardens are safe and secure.
Unfortunately, lost dogs, strays and rescues have put an increased strain on animal shelters. What is worse is that many of these dogs aren’t microchipped and don’t have a fitted dog tracker, so reuniting them with their owners is incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
Keeping your dog happy, healthy and safe
If your dog is struggling to readjust to a new routine, then do not despair, because separation anxiety is something you can manage. Slowly getting your dog used to being at home alone, as well as being around other dogs and humans, should see this behaviour pass in time.
Similarly, if a neighbour’s dog is barking regularly when their owners aren’t home, they may not be aware. If you feel comfortable, let them know so they can take the steps needed to relax their dog and keep them happy.
If you are returning to the workplace and worry that keeping your dog may not be possible, then consider things like doggy day care and dog walkers. That way, your dog can get out and about, meet other dogs and humans, and stay active while you aren’t home.
More than ever before, it is important for us to take steps to be responsible dog owners. By getting a Safer Pet GPS dog tracker, you can monitor your dog’s movements in real-time while you’re away to see how they’re coping, and rest easy knowing if they get lost you can quickly track them down.