Demand slows for pandemic puppies as cats’ popularity jumps

The latest quarterly report by Pets4Homes showed a reversal in average prices for dogs.

Henry Saker-Clark
Thursday 29 July 2021 15:52
Demand for pandemic puppies has declined according to new figures (Steve Parsons/PA)
Demand for pandemic puppies has declined according to new figures (Steve Parsons/PA)

Soaring demand for puppies during the pandemic has levelled out while cats have seen a jump in popularity, according to research.

The average price for a dog before the pandemic was £876 but this had soared to £2,237 by March this year.

However, the latest quarterly report by Pets4Homes, the UK’s largest online pet marketplace, showed that the average price had gone down to £1,873 by the end of June as demand petered out.

“We are now seeing previous trends reverse with lower demand for pets, while simultaneously the number of available pets for rehoming has risen dramatically,” said Lee Gibson, UK managing director of Pets4Homes.

“As an example, the number of rehomed dogs and puppies has been 424,000 in the first half of 2021 versus 218,000 dogs and puppies in the same period last year.

“As a consequence, the number of buyers per advertised pet is now stabilising below Covid levels but above the pre-pandemic levels.”

Pets4Homes said the most popular dog breed on the site, the cavapoo, attracts roughly 283 buyers per advert, dropping from a peak of 590.

It still represents a significant rise from the average of 91 before the pandemic.

Mr Gibson said data is not showing that new pet owners are “abandoning” pandemic puppies but recent advertisements have been largely “traced back to new litters, not reselling”.

The research also showed that the slowdown in demand for dogs has come amid an increase in demand for cats.

It said that almost as many cats were rehomed in the first half of 2021 compared with all of 2020, with 156,193 so far this year compared with 179,298 in 2020.