Watch: 'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' campaign

Dog welfare charity Dogs Trust has launched a campaign that aims to stop puppy purchases snowballing in the run-up to Christmas.

A dog left out in the trash after Christmas
A dog left out in the trash after Christmas

The charity is urging the public not to buy or give dogs as presents as it reinforces the message behind its famous slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’.

See more festive campaigns on PRWeek's Christmas hub

The campaign is brought to life in the ad through a little puppet dog made of cork. After lapping up attention during the Christmas festivities, the puppet dog is then unceremoniously dumped outside with the rubbish the next day, where he turns into a real dog and is rescued by Dogs Trust.

The ad features vocals by songwriter Sam Smith, with a cover of the Christmas classic Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and launches on ITV1 on 9 November.

The advert is supported by a through-the-line campaign that reminds people of the ease with which dogs can get caught up in rush buying and how the charity’s vital message can be shared to make a difference in the lead up to Christmas.

The advert was created by And Rising. Its creative partner Anna Arnell said: "It’s hard to imagine that dogs are bought and discarded in the same way we pop corks, then throw them away the next day."

On average, Dogs Trust receives a call every six minutes from people wanting to give up a dog. Last year, online searches to get a puppy increased by 44 per cent a week before Christmas compared with the yearly average and searches to give up a dog peaked in January.

Nick Daniel, marketing director at Dogs Trust, added: "We wanted to create an emotional connection with our saying, and communicate the idea that it’s not just a slogan, but a serious message.

"While most people fully understand the commitment, in the lead up to Christmas, some can get wrapped up in the fever of present buying. We hope to encourage more people to plan for the commitment that comes with owning a dog and land the message that as the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, we’re also here to help."

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