1 in 10 dogs in the UK rehomed in the last year

Tuesday 14th November 2023

Woman Showing Affection to Dog at Rescue Dog Shelter
  • 1 in 5 surveyed have either rehomed or considered rehoming their dog in the past year.
  • 22% of owners who rehomed their dogs say this is due to the reduction in opportunities to work from home.
  • 25% of owners who rehomed their dogs say this is due to financial reasons.
  • Reports indicate a spend of £1,500 annually on dog day care alone.
  • Only 17% of UK workplaces currently allow pets.
  • Nearly twice as many men gave up their dog last year than women.

We've conducted a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults which has revealed a concerning trend among dog owners, with 10% having rehomed their pets within the last year and another 11% having considered it. The survey shines a light on the impact of changing work environments and the increased cost of living on pet ownership.

22% of dogs being rehomed due to less opportunity to work from home this year

The shift back to traditional office settings has had unforeseen consequences for the nation's canine companions. Approximately 22% of owners who rehomed their dogs attribute their decision to the reduction in opportunities to work from home. This change in work dynamics has left many owners unable to provide adequate care for their pets during work hours, leading to tough decisions being made.

Financial pressures are at the forefront of these rehoming decisions. A quarter of those surveyed cited the increased cost of living as the pivotal factor. With reports indicating that dog owners can spend up to £1,500 annually on day care alone, as referenced by The Money Pages, the financial burden of pet ownership is becoming too heavy for some.

Men almost twice as likely to rehome their dogs than women

Interestingly, the survey found a gender disparity in rehoming rates. Out of all the dog owners surveyed, 13% of men have rehomed their dogs in the past year compared to just 7% of women. This suggests that the pressures leading to rehoming may be felt differently across demographics.

Only 17% of UK workplaces currently allow pets

Despite these challenges, only 17% of UK workplaces currently allow pets, potentially offering a solution for some. The question now arises: Should businesses adapt to the changing financial landscape and the needs of their employees by allowing pets in the workplace or offering more flexible remote work options?

John Atkinson, Head of Commercial Business at Novuna Business Cash Flow, says, "The data we've collected is a stark indicator of the stress that pet owners are facing in today's economic climate. Are businesses doing enough to help their employees by offering flexible work arrangements, pet-friendly policies, even allowing pets in the workplace. This could be key to keeping families and their pets together."

Positive shift in dog adoption amidst rising rehoming rates

Despite the challenges outlined, there is a silver lining in the UK's canine welfare landscape. The Dogs Trust has reported encouraging data indicating a significant increase in dog adoptions, paralleling the rise in rehoming rates.

Adoption numbers on the rise, according to The Dogs Trust

  • +11% increase in dogs being adopted this year, a statistic that highlights the public's growing preference for adoption over purchasing puppies.
  • A comparison of figures reveals a hopeful trend: from 7,775 dogs rehomed in 2021 to 9,067 in 2022 - a 16.62% increase.
  • The trend is expected to continue, with projections for 2023 estimating around 10,070 dog adoptions, an 11.06% increase from 2022.

This data presents an optimistic counter-narrative, showcasing the public's increasing willingness to offer homes to dogs in need, thereby maintaining a balance in dog welfare amidst challenging times.

About the research

Field: 31st October 2023 - 3rd November 2023

Sample: 2,000 UK adults

Weighting: Weighted to be nationally representative

Dog adoption figures were provided by the Dogs Trust on 15/11/2023 when asked “Please provide a year on year comparison on how many dogs have actually been rehomed (2021, 2022, 2023)?”

Full research can be found here.

Back to top