Although most dog owners see their pets as one of the family and couldn't imagine living without them, unfortunately there are some individuals who aren't quite as devoted to their pooches.

And at no time is this more apparent then at Christmas, as every year re-homing centres across the country brace themselves for an influx of unwanted dogs when the festive season comes to a close.

Therefore, for the 34th year animal welfare charity the Dogs Trust has launched its annual campaign bearing the slogan: A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas, as an attempt to make people aware of the responsibility involved in owning a canine.

George Paparakis, assistant manager at the charity's Glasgow re-homing centre, said that although there were often genuine reasons why owners had to give up their pets, at other times it is simply because they haven't thought through the decision in the first place.

According to Mr Paparakis, some of the reasons given for bringing a pet to the re-homing centre include the dog doesn't match the sofa, it is not as cute as it used to be, it can't do tricks and, staggeringly, it smells like dog.

"It just highlights the importance of doing research and thinking about the dog that you’re taking before actually committing to it," he added.

Not only is the experience of moving homes often rather distressing for a pooch, but with the increased costs of bedding, dry dog food and veterinary care, re-homing centres are often under added strain at this time of year.

Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust, said: "Dogs can provide a world of happiness and enjoyment, and we urge anyone considering a new addition to the family to think it through properly and remember that the only place a puppy should be is on the outside of the wrapping paper, not inside it."

Written by: Hannah