Nearly half of Brits want to own a dog but can't afford to or don't have time, study finds | The Sun

WE are a nation of dog lovers, and it turns out nearly half of Brits who don’t own a dog would like to.

But it turns out only four per cent could commit to full-time care, according to a recent study.

Four in 10 of the 2,000 adults polled have been unable to get a new dog because of the cost of living crisis.

The main deterrents include the price of veterinary care, pet sitting, and working in an office full-time.

That said, ore than a quarter would choose to borrow a friend or family member’s dog before committing to full ownership, while 22 per cent would be interested in some form of part-time ownership.

The research was commissioned by Guide Dogs, which has launched an appeal to find people able to foster young guide dogs in training.  


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The charity covers all the dog’s expenses, including training, food and vet costs, in return for volunteers providing a home during evenings and weekends.

Tracey Berridge, head of volunteering at Guide Dogs, said: “With the projected increase of people who are visually impaired in the UK to rise to over four million by 2050, it’s crucial that more guide dogs are trained to offer essential assistance and independence for people with sight loss.

“Our fostering programme offers all the joys of dog ownership but with a schedule that fits around your existing commitments.

“Becoming a fosterer is a wonderful opportunity for people who love dogs and want to make a difference to the lives of people with sight loss.

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“By opening their homes and hearts to our dogs, Fosterers play a crucial role in our mission to train more guide dogs.

“We have lots more dogs entering their formal training and we can only create our life-changing partnerships with the support of our amazing network of volunteers.”

Half of respondents feel it’s not financially feasible to take on the responsibilities and expenses associated with dog ownership right now.

Use of dog-sharing apps are on the rise, with wanting to be more active, reducing stress and anxiety, finding companionship, and building confidence, the main reasons for part-time dog responsibility.

Borrowing is the new owning in general, as three-quarters of Brits are willing to rent or borrow assets – from homes, cars, clothes, tools, and even dogs.

More than one in sixadmit that their renting habits have increased by 31 per cent on average in the last two years.

However, two-thirds of Brits polled via OnePoll haven’t heard of fostering a dog from Guide Dogs, but a third said they would be interested in signing up.

In fact, helping to make a difference in someone’s life, supporting people with sight loss and aiding those who want to own a dog and assisting Guide Dogs' mission, are the main reasons people would like to volunteer.

Prisca Mascarenhas, an experienced fosterer, has been actively fostering guide dogs in training for the past five years, providing care for six dogs during that time.

She said: "My husband and I decided to become fosterers because it offers us the best of both worlds.

“We have the privilege of caring for these incredible dogs during evenings and weekends, which fits perfectly around our work and family life.

“The best part is, there are no financial expenses involved, and we are constantly learning and working in partnership with the trainers.

“As someone who had never owned a dog before, this role has given us confidence and companionship, and we love being able to help a visually impaired person with their independence and their freedom.”

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Fosterers are required to ‘do the school run’ for dogs in training by dropping them off and collecting them from their local Guide Dogs training centre, as well as helping dogs keep up with their training at home.

To find out more about becoming a Fosterer, visit

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