This year, given the current lock down, the charity said its focus is on safety around dogs in the home.
Dogs Trust said it is concerned that many dogs around the country may not be getting enough undisturbed rest with so much activity in homes at the moment, especially those with children, and is appealing to parents and guardians to explain the need for dogs to be given their own space.
With 39% of dog owners having children in the home, the charity said it is “especially important” during a time that most people are spending the majority of their day at home, that an adult supervises all interactions with children and dogs, no matter how good-natured the dog is.
Dawn Kavanagh, education and community manager, Dogs Trust Ireland said: “We’ve all heard the adage ‘let sleeping dogs lie’, and it’s one we should really pay heed to. Just like people, dogs need their own space too, so we are asking parents to explain to children that they shouldn’t approach a dog if he or she is in their bed, even if they’re not sleeping.
“Often a dog’s bed is the only place in the home that truly belongs to them so they should be able to take themselves off there to rest peacefully without being disturbed.”
She added: “We also want to make people aware that dogs generally don’t understand the concept of ‘hugging’ and see it as an uncomfortable invasion of their space and having a child’s head so close to a dog’s is not a good idea. So, we would ask that you teach your children that a gentle rub is much more pleasant for a dog instead.”