“HE didn’t like being dressed up” and “he didn’t match my furniture” were just some of the reasons people gave up their dogs last Christmas, according to the Dogs Trust.

The rehoming centre, which has branches in Wiltshire and Worcestershire,  is now preparing itself for another influx of unwanted dogs, and urging people to remember the charity’s slogan: A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

Some of the reasons given for getting rid of a dog at Christmas included:

  • He ate meat and we are vegetarian
  • He didn’t like it when we tried to dress him up
  • He doesn’t match our furniture
  • She sleeps in her own dog bed all night – I thought she would want to sleep in my bed
  • He is always staring at me – even when I am eating
  • I won a free holiday and couldn't take my dogs with me
  • I got him as a secret Santa present
  • She was too friendly and wanted to greet every dog and human we met on a walk
  • He was panting too much
  • Now he has lost weight he is too energetic
  • She grew bigger than we thought she would
  • If I'd known anything about beagles, I wouldn't have got one
  • I had to spend an hour a day hovering as he shed so much hair
  • She wags her tail far too much

Tery Laffin, rehoming centre manager at Dogs Trust Salisbury, said the number of dogs given up last year was “so sad”, adding: “Dogs deserve to be treated as a member of the family.”

“They aren’t disposable commodities; they are a huge commitment and should be for life. It’s particularly hard for staff when they see dogs handed in simply because their owner’s bought them on a whim and consider them little more than toys to be discarded when the novelty wears off.

“We really hope this Christmas is the year our nation of animal lovers finally takes heed of our slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ and we don’t see dogs discarded because their owners have not considered the lifetime commitment of dog ownership.”