Dog days: Germany sees ‘extreme’ demand for pups during pandemic

Dog days: Germany sees 'extreme' demand for pups during pandemic
Four-year-old Havanese dog Mojito jumps through the snow in the Hofgarten in Munich earlier in January. Photo: DPA
The number of dog owners in Germany soared last year as people spent more time at home during the partial lockdowns.

According to the German Canine Association (VDH), 20 percent more dogs were bought by Bundesrepublik residents in 2020 compared to previous years, reported Spiegel.

Whether it was a new labrador or French bulldog, many people decided to grow their pet family.

“The demand is extreme,” said the chairman of the Rhineland-Palatinate VDH, Herbert Klemann.

Breeders are literally “bombarded” with calls and cannot breed as many animals as there is demand. This was already the case in 2020.

“And the demand is still there,” said Klemann. “The fact that the lockdown has been extended is pushing the whole thing even further.”

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Due to more families and households spending more time at home because of lockdown measures, there's been a trend nationwide for pet owners increasing.

The number of people nationwide who want puppies is huge, said VDH spokesman Udo Kopernik. “Breeders are getting bombarded (with requests),” he said.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about having a pet in Germany

'Dramatic growth'

Among those who have recently decided on a new animal family member is Markus Söder, of the Christian Social Union.

The Bavarian state premier presented his puppy Molly on Twitter last week – and stole a little attention from his sister party and its new leader: on the same day, the Christian Democrat party conference started, the day after Armin Laschet was elected leader.

VDH spokesman Kopernik, however, is partly critical of the trend for new puppies.

“If parents give in to their children's desire to have a pup but don't actually want a dog themselves, it can only go wrong,” Klemann said.

He fears that many dogs could end up in shelters after the pandemic. “When people go back to work normally and the children can no longer look after the dog, then that becomes a problem.”

READ ALSO: 'A life without a dog is a mistake': Germany's passion for pooches

Commenting on the jump in dog sales, Kopernik said, “It's a dramatic growth, a big step in a very short time.”

In the past 15 years, he said, the number of dogs in Germany has increased from an estimated 6.5 million to ten million. Cities are also registering more applications for dog tax.


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