National Rescue Dog Day: Research reveals that nearly one in 10 pet owners regret buying rather than adopting their four-legged friend

Since the global pandemic hit pet ownership has rocketed across the UK, but not everybody who has welcomed an animal into their homes is happy about how they went about it.

In fact, nine per cent of UK pet owners who chose to purchase a cat or dog now regret not adopting their animal companion instead.

The figure was revealed in a survey by GoCompare pet insurance ahead of National Rescue Dog Day on May 20 – created to raise awareness of the countless number of amazing dogs in shelters who deserve a second chance at a forever home.

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Young people are the most likely to feel this way, as 15 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they regretted their decision to buy their pet.

Rescuing a cat or dog helps to minimise unnecessary breeding, but the percentage of Brits who have chosen to adopt remains at a similar level to those who’ve taken another route to get their pet.

But the future seems to be in good hands, with 100 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old pet owners, compared to just 82 per cent of all pet owners, saying that they would consider rescuing in future.

This figure fell to 76 per cent of those aged 55 and over, suggesting older pet owners have more worries about adopting.

The main cause for concern held by those who chose not to adopt a pet was that the rescue animal could have behavioural problems – almost half (49 per cent) of those who bought their cat or dog selected this as a concern.

Adopting rather than buying a dog is a positive decision many pet owners regret not making.

Meanwhile, the second most common factor putting people off rescuing was the need to consider their other pets at home.

By contrast, a quarter of those who previously purchased their four-legged friend said they had no concerns about adopting.

Ceri McMillan, pet insurance expert at GoCompare said: “The demand for pets has increased in recent years, partly due to a surge of people seeking companionship in lockdown, which has caused an increase in their value. When combined with trends for owning particular breeds, irresponsible breeders will, unfortunately, look to cash in on this.

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“That’s why we want to encourage pet lovers to adopt an animal in need, rather than turn to breeders. As well as helping an animal find its forever home, another benefit of rescuing is that many shelters will match you with a pet, ensuring it’s a good fit for your family. You’ll also have peace of mind that you aren’t supporting bad practices and are contributing to the safety of animals.”

Adopting pets also has a financial advantage – purchasing a pooch from an online seller would set you back a hefty £1,419, while adopting would amount to just £498, equalling a huge saving of £921.

This difference could cover the policy price for pet insurance, leaving owners with plenty of cash left over to spoil their furry friend with toys and treats.

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