The findings suggest owners could be putting their dogs in a vulnerable position by not making provisions for their care should they fall seriously ill or pass away, with almost a third (32%) of the dog owners surveyed in NI by the charity admitting that they have not even thought about what would happen in that scenario.
Worryingly, 46% of respondents in Northern Ireland also said that whilst they think they have a friend or family member who would take over ownership of the dog, they have not discussed it with the person in question and a further 7% said they do not have anyone who would be able to help.
Dogs Trust is urging the public to sign up to their free Canine Care Card Service, to ensure their dog can be cared for by the UK’s largest dog welfare charity at one of their state-of-the-art rehoming centres, should they become too ill to be able to keep them or pass away.
The charity is also encouraging dog owners to appoint a ‘dog guardian’.
This could be family member, friend or even a neighbour or vet who agrees to take care of your dog and sign over your dog to Dogs Trust in the interim should you no longer be able to.
Dogs Trust also recommends updating your will to include your Canine Care Card information and also to make sure to notify friends and family of your wishes to ensure the process is dealt with as smoothly as possible when the time comes.
Conor O’Kane, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Ballymena, said: “We would urge dog owners to think about signing up to a free Canine Care Card, so that should the worst happen Dogs Trust can take your dog in and make sure they are looked after as you would at home.”