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Paws for thought this Christmas!

04 December 2017



While puppies are certainly cute, playful and great fun on Christmas day, they are also a lifelong commitment, so whether you are considering taking on a new pup yourself, or buying one for someone else this Christmas, make sure you have thoroughly thought about the reality of ownership before you buy! A dog is a big commitment, both in terms of time, money and care.

Enforcement Officers at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council often find that while people are full of the best intentions, the novelty of a new pup often wears off as the dog matures and the reality of responsible ownership hits home. Sadly, January is our busiest time of year for dealing with poor animals which are simply given up, left in the pound, or even worse abandoned to their own fate.


Mark Sloan, Principal Environmental Health Officer said “As a dog lover, I understand the amount of time, effort and commitment being a responsible dog owner takes. I would urge people to think long and hard, to be sure that a new pup is the right choice for them. Never ever buy on impulse, and make sure you are 100% certain that a puppy will be loved and cared for, once Christmas is over and the thrill and excitement of a new pup fades. Nothing could be more relevant at this time of year than the iconic phrase coined by Dogs Trust – A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”


In 2017, Dogs Trust, the largest dog welfare charity in Northern Ireland, received a staggering number of calls in the 30 days following Christmas from new owners, with many unwanted dogs handed in by people wanting to give up their pets. This year they are taking a stand against impulse puppy purchasing, and urging people to stop and think before buying on a whim.”

If you are unsure as to whether a puppy is the right decision for you, why not give one of local dog charities a call. There is some great advice and information available via Dogs Trust on their website at www.Dogstrust.org.uk