'A dog is for life, not just for lockdown', says charity

'A dog is for life, not just for lockdown', says charity

Dogs Trust is urging the public to think carefully before getting a dog during the coronavirus lockdown.

With Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increasing by 120% in the month after lockdown was announced, the dog welfare charity wants people to weigh up if they are ready for the responsibilities of dog ownership.

Dogs Trust is concerned that when social distancing restrictions are eased and life starts getting back to normal there may be a spike in people giving up their dog — something that often happens after Christmas when people also get dogs on impulse.

To emphasize the message, the charity has temporarily altered its famous slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, changing it to ‘A dog is for life, not just for lockdown’.

It has also created an online quiz for potential new dog owners to test themselves on whether they are ‘dog-ready’.

“Dog ownership can be so rewarding, but it’s also a huge responsibility which is why we are reminding people today that ‘a dog is for life, not just for lockdown’,” said Dogs Trust chief executive Owen Sharp.

“Like Christmas, when people are at home more, they might think now is the perfect time to get a dog. For some people this will be the case, but we’re asking people to consider when the lockdown lifts how your life will need to change to accommodate your four-legged friend.”

Graham Norton, who owns a labradoodle called Bailey, highlighted the fact that “you still have to walk a dog on a rainy evening, and pick up their poo in the dark”.

“Please remember that life will go back to ‘normal’ at some point with people returning to work and school, and when this happens you need to think about whether you can still fit a dog into your life,” the television and radio presenter added.

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