Dogs Trust

In the run up to Christmas this year, Dogs Trust are asking you to please reconsider if you’re thinking of gifting a dog or puppy this year

Unfortunately, with over 1,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through the charity’s doors, and thousands more the charity cannot possibly take in, people are still taking on the responsibility of dog ownership without enough consideration of what it really entails.

Suzie Carley, Executive Director, Dogs Trust says,

"We are reminding people of our Christmas message ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas ®’and while they might be cute and fluffy, and on many children’s (and some adults) wish lists, dogs and puppies do not make ideal Christmas presents. Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year for most of us but it is often a very busy time indeed and may not be the best time to introduce a new puppy to your family, especially as the normal routine is disrupted. In the New Year, when the festivities have died down, we would encourage those who have made the decision to get a dog to consider adopting a dog from your local rescue centre, local pound and Dogs Trust".

Dogs Trust have some additional advice for those who might be thinking of getting a dog;

  • Adding a dog to the family is a really important decision that should be really well thought out. Dogs can live on average 14 years, and it is estimated that the general care of a dog can add up to €10,000.
  • If you have thought long and hard, and do decide to get a dog; make sure to research different breeds to find one that will suit you and your family’s circumstances. Different breeds have different requirements, in terms of what diet they will need, how much energy they will have, and you should be confident that you can meet these requirements before taking a dog or pup home.
  • There are thousands of dogs in rescue centres around Ireland, all waiting for their forever homes, so why not try one of them as your first port of call in finding your new addition?
  • If you do make the decision to buy a puppy, it is vital to make sure that you are doing so from a reputable breeder. Have a chat with your local veterinary practice, or the Irish Kennel Club who can help you to find one.

  • Dogs Trust urge any person thinking of buying a puppy to always ask to see Mum. Very often, the public don’t realise that they are buying a puppy from a puppy farm, nor do they realise the potentially cruel conditions the pup has been bred in. Dogs Trust launched the #StopKeepingMum campaign in November to highlight the vile conditions mums on puppy farms are forced to endure, visit for more information and how you can show your support.
  • It is important to see the pup interact with Mum, and if possible, the rest of the litter. It is vital that puppies are socialised around everyday sights and sounds, and have become used to being handled, which can avoid more serious behaviour issues in the future.
  • There should be no discharge from its eyes or nose or any sores, bald patches or scabs on the skin. The puppy should be alert and show no obvious signs of illness such as coughing. Find out whether the puppy has been wormed and vaccinated – some breeders will vaccinate puppies at 8 weeks of age before releasing them to their new owners.
  • Dogs Trust always recommends attending training classes with your new additions as puppies don’t come fully trained and positive reward based training is a wonderful way to help them learn their puppy manners, basic commands and also lets them have some fun with you, their new family.

  • Dogs Trust acknowledges that the internet is an accessible way of purchasing gifts quickly, but the impulse buying of pets and animals poses the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders. If you buy from a website, ensure that website has been approved by the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG). Further information about IPAAG and Minimum Welfare Standards is available on