There's been a 'quite astonishing' spike in the number of people looking to give up their dogs as COVID restrictions ease, a charity says.
Dogs Trust Ireland says they're seeing around eight 'surrender requests' a day at the moment.
Many dogs may be struggling as their owners leave the house more, after over a year of working from home and limited social activity.
Indeed, last year saw an increase in dog ownership as many people sought a canine companion during lockdown.
Ciara Byrne, head of communications at Dogs Trust Ireland told Newstalk Breakfast there has been a significant increase in owners looking to give up their dogs this year.
She explained: “Unfortunately, we’re seeing a huge spike at the moment - especially since we’ve been emerging from lockdown.
“We’ve had the same number of requests so far this year as we had for the entirety of 2020. Those are quite astonishing numbers, to say the least.”
She said the most common reason being cited is people struggling with a dog's behaviour issues.
Ciara said: “Dogs are receptive to anything, so they do notice when things change. Some of them really do struggle."
The charity has launched a new 'Bark to Basics' campaign to try to remedy the current situation, offering tips on how to help dogs cope with the return to normal life.
Ciara said: “We want to keep dogs in their homes - that’s our main goal.
“There are lots of things people can do - even just being aware or noticing that their dog may be following them around the house more, or becoming more attentive to their owners... or even things a little bit more frustrating like toileting in the house or destructive behaviour.
“It’s about noticing the little things your dog might be doing before they get to the big things. Dogs do give you signs - so it’s looking out for the signs and knowing how to cope with them.”