More and more dog owners are putting their pet’s health at risk by keeping them shut up or chained all the time.
The survey, by UK’s Churchill Pet Insurance found that 14% of dog owners leave their pets shut in one room when they are away from their homes, and more than two-thirds leave their pet alone in the house when they are out for four or more hours at a time.
Dogs that spend hours trapped in cramped conditions without sufficient space to exercise can develop joint problems and weight-related issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
Large dogs, such as Greyhounds and Mastiffs, and very large dogs, such as Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, were most likely to suffer from being kept in confined spaces.
The significant number of large dogs that are being kept in cramped conditions for hours at a time is of great concern. Before they take on a pet, potential owners should ensure they have sufficient space to keep a dog, as well as being able to dedicate a considerable amount of time to looking after it.
A number of dog owners said they felt guilty about abandoning their pet, with a quarter saying work commitments prevented them from giving their dogs the attention they needed.
The survey also found that 13% of dog owners admitted to not walking their dog as frequently as they should, and 13% said they would not take their dog for a walk if the weather was poor.