'Paws' and think before buying a dog at Christmas, charity says

Dogs Trust is urging people not to buy or give dogs as presents, after research revealed that online searches for puppies jump by 44% in the countdown to Christmas.

It’s now so easy to give or get a dog on impulse — but on average, the dog welfare charity receives one call every six minutes from people wanting to give up their pup.

While people give up dogs for all sorts of reasons, Dogs Trust stressed the importance of making sure you’re ready for the commitment.

“We want everyone to ‘paws’ and consider before bringing a dog home,” the charity said.

An analysis of online search trends found that:

  • Online searches of the phrase ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 44% from 95,659 to 137,499 a week before Christmas last year, compared to the yearly average.
  • Online searches to ‘get a dog’ increased by nearly 27% from 357,779 to 452,656 two weeks before Christmas, compared to the yearly average.
  • Worryingly, online searches for people wanting to give up their dog also peaked in January.
  • Pugs were the most sought-after breed searched for across the UK, followed by Rottweilers and French bulldogs.

“These figures show that people still think to buy a dog in the rush before Christmas,” said Dogs Trust chief executive Owen Sharp. “It’s very easy to pick a puppy at the click of a button but dogs don’t come with a gift receipt.“

We take calls all year round from people who feel they have no choice but to give up their dog. It can be heart-breaking, even if an owner knows they are doing the right thing.

“Dog ownership is wonderful, and we aren’t saying don’t get a dog, we’re just asking that people are sure they are ready for the long-term commitment that comes with it."

“We hope this year our message ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ comes across loud and clear.”

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