People are being urged to think think twice before buying a puppy following concerns that prices have risen to "extortionate" levels due to demand during the lockdown.

Powys County Council's Trading Standards has issued a warning to residents that some sellers are charging "substantially higher prices" for certain breeds of dog.

Cllr James Evans, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “We have received concerns from reputable breeders and consumers that the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have brought about inflated prices for dogs and that consumers, who are seeking a certain breed of dog, maybe going unreputable sellers and being charged extortionate prices.

“Dog ownership is a huge responsibility. Individuals must make sure that they are able to care for them and provide them with a happy and safe home – not just for the lockdown period but the rest of the dog’s life.

It follows new guidance in Wales that allows RSPCA centres to safely rehome animals during the coronavirus crisis.

The RSPCA is urging people to consider adopting rather than buying a pet.

Lewis Clark, RSPCA public affairs adviser, said: "This would give the numerous rescue animals in our care, and with other rescue organisations, a second chance of forever home happiness.

"It is so important people do their research and are aware of unscrupulous traders looking to make murky profits without considering the welfare needs of animals.

"Anyone buying or adopting an animal must also consider whether this is the right decision for them long-term. During the current lockdown, this may be an ideal time to settle in a new pet, with plenty more time to give them love and attention. However, new owners will need to consider whether their lifestyle once some normality returns would be compatible with the responsibility of pet ownership."