Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is urging the public not to buy or give dogs as presents, as new statistics show online searches for puppies skyrocket by 44% in the countdown to Christmas.
The charity’s plea comes as it launches its first ever Christmas TV advert – which features a puppet dog who brings to life the message behind its famous slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’.
On average, Dogs Trust receives one call every six minutes from people wanting to give up their dog. While people give up dogs for all sorts of reasons, the charity is encouraging people to make sure they’re ready for the commitment.
After analysing online search trends the charity 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.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Owen Sharp, says:
“These figures show that people still think to buy a dog in the rush before Christmas. 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.”
Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/adogisforlife to watch and share Dogs Trust’s advert, and for advice on dog ownership.