Dog owners are being urged to treat their pets as one of the family - and plan for their care in case they are no longer able to look after them.
Dog Aid Society of Scotland says owners often don’t get around to making plans that will ensure their pets are looked after if something happens to them.
The problem is a particular issue among older dog owners, when ill health or changes in their circumstances can suddenly mean they can no longer look after much-loved pets.
That can mean pets end up languishing in kennels waiting for new owners for months - even years. Although they are well-cared for, dogs may miss the companionship and loving home that they’ve become accustomed to.
“No-one likes to think of a time when they might not be able to look after their pet or have to move to a property where dogs might not be allowed,” said a spokesperson for the Edinburgh-based charity.
“Circumstances can change for lots of reasons and can be quite hard to cope with. It makes sense to bear in mind what might happen to your pet if something happens to you.”
The Dog Aid Society of Scotland operates a unique dog rehoming service that enables owners to lay down plans for their pet’s future which ensures they will find the best home possible.
The charity doesn’t operate a kennel service – instead it has found it is less stressful for dogs to stay at home until it can find the right owners to suit its character and needs.
To be absolutely sure that the dog is going to settle well with new owners, the charity organises a two-week foster period and follow-up visits with feedback so its previous owner can relax knowing it’s well looked after.
It also means that the new owners can be assured the dog is the right one for them, and has undergone thorough health and wellbeing checks.
As well as organising for the charity to seek new owners for their pet if they’re unable to care for it, owners can prepare for the future through the charity’s bequeath service, which ensures their dog will be cared for in the event of their death.
The Dog Aid Society of Scotland has been rehoming dogs since 1956, bringing peace of mind to owners and people seeking new companions and ensuring dogs are well-cared for.
It also offers a range of veterinary care services and neutering scheme for owners on low incomes.
To find out more about the Dog Aid Society of Scotland’s rehoming service, visit www.dogaidsociety.com