WATCH: People asked to Paws For Thought about a puppy this Christmas

Nearly 100 puppies were seized in just one week in Britain

WATCH: People asked to Paws For Thought about a puppy this Christmas

Lucy is pictured at Ashton Dog Pound in Dublin | Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

With just six weeks to go until Christmas, Dogs Trust is urging people to pause (paws) for thought before getting a dog this holiday season.

It says last year, 12,549 dogs entered its Irish pounds with 1,522 of them being "needlessly destroyed".

The charity also had a 58% spike in surrender requests after Christmas last year.

It has also posted some paw prints around the streets of Dublin, with the hashtag #PawsForThought.

Dogs Trust say it is to remind people that 'A Dog is for life, not just for Christmas'.

"We are urging people to 'pause' and think about the lifelong commitment and responsibility that comes with owning a dog and then wait until after Christmas to consider taking on a new addition to the family.

"Unfortunately, with over 1,000 abandoned dogs per year coming through our 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."

You can get more details on the 'Paws For Thought' campaign here

Meanwhile its sister charity in the UK is warning some people can be drawn into the illegal puppy trade by unknowingly purchasing an illegally imported puppy.

The warning comes after nearly 100 puppies were seized in just one week in Britain during a covert operation.

The charity says this is "just the tip of the iceberg", as many more are expected to be smuggled into the country undetected in the run up to Christmas.

It says dealers import 'designer' breeds such as Pug puppies, Dachshund puppies, French Bulldog puppies, English Bulldog puppies and Chow Chow puppies.

Pups are separated from their mothers when they are weeks old because they look smaller and cuter, and can be sold for lots of money - especially in the weeks before Christmas.

"Breeders and vets in countries where puppies are born - in a well-oiled network of crime and deception - fake dogs’ documents so they can be imported.

"Some pups have no vaccinations at all, posing a serious health risk to people here", it says.

It has a number of pointers for those meeting your puppy for the first time:

Don't be afraid to ask questions: Always ask about their age, microchip, worming and vaccinations, as well as their feeding

  • Take a copy of the puppy contract with you as it gives you guidance on the information your breeder should be giving
  • Puppies should not leave their mum until they are eight weeks old
  • Puppies should have clean eyes, ears and bottom. They should be bright and lively, and keen to interact
  • Puppies must be microchipped, with the details on that chip registered to the breeder: When you get your new puppy home, the first thing you'll need to do is update the details on your puppy's microchip to your contact details. If you and your puppy ever become separated, a microchip is the best way to ensure you can be reunited
  • Ask about the vaccinations and worming treatments the puppy has had, and make sure you get any paperwork associated with this
  • Some breeds can be prone to hereditary issues, which the parents should be screened for before breeding: Where you can, you should ask to see a copy of health screening papers of the puppy’s parents which detail any hereditary diseases
  • When you meet your puppy, mum should always be there: Feel free to ask the breeder about mum, how many litters she has had and her heritage.
    Mum should be clean and in good condition, showing general signs of being happy and healthy with bright eyes. She should also be sociable with people.