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Should there be mandatory training for pet ownership?

This article is not focused on microchipping but it is a topic that I think is worth exploring… 

The question I want to consider is:

Should a potential pet owner have to complete training and pass a test before owning a pet?

Over the last number of months, we’ve dealt with an ever-increasing range of issues that make me think that this might be a good approach. Here are a few of the rehoming reasons we’ve heard:

  1. “He’s got too big” (Referring to an Akita dog)
  2. “She keeps peeing in the house” (a 12 week old puppy)
  3. “They keep barking in the house” (It’s a dog…)
 

These are all behaviours we would expect of a puppy or a dog, so it continues to shock me every time a pet owner seems surprised by them. 

Outside of this, we know anti-social incidents with dogs are increasing.
 

We fully understand that the cost of living crisis is driving up the rate of rehoming situations. We’re big supporters of the Dog’s Trust campaign to reduce VAT on Pet Food (you can read more about it HERE if you are interested!) and we do as much as we can to keep pet care affordable. That’s why it is free to register, update and transfer all MyPet microchips and we give pet owners using our platform access to MyPet Perks which offers discounts and deals on things like Pet Food. 

Of course there will be occasions when people have to rehome pets for various legitimate reasons, but can we do more to make sure that people are better prepared to be pet owners?

For me personally, I believe there should be mandatory training and a test to own a dog (and other pets).  I think this would help massively in ensuring people make informed decisions about owning a pet and reduce the number of impulse pet purchasing. This might also assist in providing potential pet owners with some essential guidance for training a pet.

But what do you think? 

What do other countries do?

Spain

Spain introduced new Animal Protection laws in 2021 which mean Pet owners must take an accredited training course and it states that dogs cannot be left alone for more than 24 hours. 

Sweden

They don’t have any mandatory training in Sweden but they are very strict around pet ownership. For example, it is illegal to leave your dog for more than six hours at a time.

Switzerland

Switzerland did have a law for mandatory training but it was repealed a few years ago. 

They do have a law that states that any person involved in an anti-social incident must attend a training course. 

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this. Drop me an email or leave a comment below! 🙂

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