With puppies costing more than £4,000 and prices increasing by over 300% since Covid-19 appeared, it's no wonder people are asking if puppy prices will go down after lockdown. For many who would love a dog, it may feel like they are a first-time home buyer again with a deposit which is simply unattainable.
Will Puppy Prices Go Down After Lockdown?
Puppy prices may not be quite as steep as they were during the height of the pandemic, but they are also unlikely to significantly drop. The lockdown caused a dramatic demand for puppies which hiked the price up and the substantial waiting lists will keep the prices reasonably high.
Why Did Puppy Prices Go Up and Will They Come Down?
It's not necessarily the breeders who hike up the prices. There are many fantastic breeders out there who are more concerned with a puppy's wellbeing and maintenance of a sustainable business rather than making an extra quick buck. We 'the consumers' have technically hiked the prices by causing a surge in demand for puppies and where there is demand there will always be supply but in this case the supply is costing much more than previously seen.
Breeders are accepting people on to breeder lists but then they contact others with a bumped-up price and those who were waiting find themselves dis-regarded. They know the buyers have money because we cannot go out and spend it. We are either invested in Crypto, stocking up the gin or have disposable income for pets and garden furniture!
Prices are unlikely to drastically drop anytime soon thanks to the waiting lists. It will be an interesting although worrying insight we will all have once June/July comes round and people need to return to work and want to go back abroad on holidays. Many people feel they are perfectly placed for a dog with 'work from home' being the only option but what happens when the fad drops off? Only time will tell.
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Why Won't Puppy Prices Significantly Drop?
Simply put, the demand for puppies is so high it has created one hell of a waiting list which is great news for the breeders. The unfortunate side to this is that breeders will be working hard to meet the demand and then as lockdown tails off and people return to work in the office this will leave us with dilemmas such as puppies being left at home or taken into rescue centres as they can no longer look after them.
Many people who desperately wanted a dog in lockdown and were unable to get one due to supply problems, random price hikes or being booted off waiting lists (outpriced) will want in on the next opportunity when people return to work and this will keep prices high.
Will Lots of Rescue Dogs Be Available?
In 2020 we are sure there will be an increase on the number of dogs taken in by the RSPCA and other shelters. This in itself is a worry and rather than everybody spending money now you could consider waiting a little longer than everyone else and look to adopt a rescue as there will no doubt be many.
In 2019 the RSPCA showed these figures:
- our centres took in 10,564 dogs
- we had 786 horses in our care at the end of 2019
- our centres took in 29,432 cats to our centres
- found new homes for 39,178 animals
- carried out 218,939 microchipping's, neutering's and treatments
- took in over 17,500 animals to our wildlife centres
- investigated more than 93,362 complaints of alleged cruelty
- secured 1,425 convictions by private prosecution to protect animals against those who break the laws
These stats were taken from the RSPCA Website: RSPCA
How Much Have Puppy Prices Increased?
We conducted our own research using figures from before Covid-19 and then contacted breeders across the country for current prices to find an average. The discoveries were as we expected and showed how much some of the puppy prices have jumped up since the lockdown. Here is a table listing some of the most popular breeds, their prices before Covid-19 and the lockdown and the current prices.
Which Breeds are the Most Expensive?
The Chow Chow is currently sitting at around £4,000 and the Japanese Shiba Inu is currently a stonking £4,500 and could be substantially more depending on the breeder. The Pomeranian, English and French Bulldogs are going to cost you a cool £3,000.
What's more astonishing is that some of these prices are the actual price hikes we have seen on the more common breeds. For example, the Beagle had a price increase of 151% from £563 to £1,414. The Poodle had a 150% increase in price and the Labrador prices increased from £780 to £2,000!
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Which Breeds Didn't Significantly Increase?
On the whole we saw the majority of dog prices go up, but some were not as savage in their price jumps. The German Shepherd went up 47% and the Pug went up 40%.
What are the Alternatives to Buying a Puppy During Lockdown?
An alternative to buying a puppy if you want company during these daunting times is to use somewhere like borrowmydoggy.com where you can fill the void in your life by spending time with a dog and by helping out owners at the same time.
To conclude, dog prices are not likely to go down by much after the lockdown ends. It comes down to the law of supply and demand which is a theory we have known for a long time. If you are one of the people waiting for a puppy, do make sure it is for the long-term, make sure you are ready for such a commitment, consider what you will do when working in the office returns, and be ready for the financial commitment on top of the price of your puppy.