The National Dog Survey, launched by Dogs Trust, will help the charity better-understand the UK’s 12.5 million-strong pooch population and the part dogs play in their owners’ lives, shaping the support the charity offers to canine companions and their families.
Conor O’Kane, Rehoming Centre Manager for Dogs Trust in Ballymena, says: “Through this survey we want to learn as much as possible about dog ownership to inform what we do to improve dog welfare and support dog owners.
“Dogs Trust has been around for 130 years and in that time so much has changed when it comes to dogs being at the heart of our family.
“This is the first time we have carried out a survey of this kind and we want to hear from dog owners as well as people who don’t currently have a dog but have lived with one in the past. By gathering as much information as we can, we will be able to help people and dogs live the best lives possible together.”
The online survey asks dog owners about everything from how their dog behaves and what training they do with their four-legged friend, to questions about their relationship such as do they celebrate their dog’s birthday and do they tell them they love them. It also covers people’s post-pandemic plans for their dog such as are they hoping to take them into the office with them or will they employ a dog walker, if they are returning to their workplace.
The survey, which can be completed online at www.nationaldogsurvey.org.uk, also asks people to say how having a dog improves their life, what advice they would give to people looking to welcome a dog into their family and what one thing could Dogs Trust do to help them and their dog live happily together.
Conor said: “We always love to hear tales from owners who have adopted from us, and every single one of them has a different story to tell. We now want to capture the experiences of all local dog owners so we can build a picture of dog ownership today and what more Dogs Trust can do to help them and their dogs.
“This will be the most comprehensive census of dogs and dog lovers ever completed and we would love it if everyone who is passionate about dogs could do their bit to help our four-legged friends of the future have the best lives possible.
“What people tell us today will help us make sure we are able to do everything we can to support dogs and their owners for the next 130 years and more.”
For more information and to take part in the National Dog Survey, visit www.nationaldogsurvey.org.uk Dog owners who complete the survey will get tailored behaviour advice sent direct to them. The closing date is October 17.