Vets are key to prevent pet surrenders: Merck

Nearly three-fourths of new dog owners in a recent survey said they’ve considered re-homing their pet once the pandemic ends.

According to Merck, which conducted the survey of 1,381 dog owners, the uncertainty is likely due to a lack of knowledge about what it takes to care for a pet.

Twenty-five percent of the survey respondents said they don’t have enough information to care for their dog. Among new dog owners who brought puppies home this year, 58% said they wish taking care of their pet’s health didn’t take so much time, and 33% were surprised to find out how much it costs to care for their pet.

“Based on our recent survey, it appears the pandemic has intensified some of the challenges faced by many new dog owners,” said Christine Royal, Merck’s executive director of veterinary professional services. “While people may have brought home a pet during the pandemic for all the right reasons, the reality is that pet ownership takes knowledge, preparation and patience. This reality is sometimes overshadowed by the excitement of bringing home a new pet. As a result, first-time pet owners who brought home a dog or puppy during the pandemic are experiencing a few more challenges compared to experienced pet owners.”

According to the survey, 70% of all dog owners would like to learn new ways to keep their dog healthy, whether a puppy or fully grown. First-time and experienced pet owners should work with their veterinarian to establish a balanced health care regimen and find effective care solutions for their dogs.

More guidance is available from Merck.