Canine Care Card

Majority of UK dog owners have no plans in place for pets if worst were to happen

We're urging dog owners to think ahead and make provisions for the care of their dog should they become seriously ill or pass away.

After recent research revealed the majority of UK dog owners have no plans in place for their pets if the worst were to happen, we're calling for making provisions for your dog to be normalised. We're urging dog owners to carry a free Canine Care Card so that their dog can be automatically cared for by us should the worst happen unexpectedly.

An uncertain future for dogs

Over half of dog owners (58%) have not made any plans about who would take over ownership of their dog if the worst were to happen, according to data from our brand-new research.

The findings, released today, suggest owners could be putting their dogs in a vulnerable position by not making provisions for their care should they fall seriously ill or pass away, with almost a third (30%) of the 1,126 dog owners surveyed admitting that they have not even thought about what would happen in that scenario.

Worryingly, over half (58%) of respondents also said that whilst they think they have a friend or family member who would take over ownership of the dog, they have not discussed it with the person in question and more than 1 in 20 (6%) said they do not have anyone who would be able to help – a cause for concern for the nations dogs.

Ensure your dog is cared for should the worst happen

We're urging the public to sign up to their free Canine Care Card Service, to ensure their dog can be cared for at one of our state-of-the-art rehoming centres, should they become too ill to be able to keep them or pass away.

Sign up to our free Canine Care Service

We are also encouraging dog owners to appoint a ‘dog guardian’, this could be family member, friend or even a neighbour or vet who agrees to take care of your dog and sign over your dog to us in the interim should you no longer be able to. We also recommend updating your Will to include your Canine Care Card information and notifying friends and family of your wishes to ensure the process is dealt with as smoothly as possible when the time comes.

Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust Chief Executive said:

“Recent world events have shown that we never know what is around the corner and that life can be unpredictable. As a nation of dog lovers, we know the little quirks that make our dogs unique and I for one enjoy having the peace of mind that if the time ever comes when I can’t be with my dog, Dogs Trust is the next best place for her to be and they will never put a healthy dog down.

“We want to normalise making plans for the care of your dog should the worst happen, so that dog owners can rest assured that their four-legged friend will be given the best possible care if they no longer can. We would urge dog owners to think about signing up to a free Canine Care Card, so that should the worst happen Dogs Trust can take your dog in and make sure they are looked after as you would at home.”

Meet Charlie - rehomed through the Canine Care Card service

Crossbreed Charlie arrived at Dogs Trust Shrewsbury on his 14th birthday after his owner had signed up for the Canine Care Card Service and could no longer care for him. Sue and Brian Kerry were looking to welcome a dog into their life and it was love at first sight when they saw Charlie.

Charlie rehomed through the Canine Care Card scheme  Sue says:

“We just fell in love with his cute little face. We have always had small dogs and when we saw him, we just hoped we were the family he was waiting for. He may be 14 but he is like a puppy! He loves playing fetch and if you are gardening and create a hole, before you know it, he has dropped the ball in it. He is cheeky! He is a very happy dog and incredibly well behaved. You can tell he has been loved and looked after and he is really well trained too. He has so much character. If he wants a stroke he just comes over and nudges your hand and you can’t resist!”

Charlie loves spending time in the garden and has a dog-flap so he can come and go as he pleases, and Sue and Brian have built him an undercover area where he has an outdoor bed, so if he wants to relax outdoors he can be in comfort, whatever the weather. Sue adds:

“We just want him to be able to do whatever makes him happiest and although he loves being with us, he loves being outside sometimes even if we aren’t, so we immediately got onto making sure he could be as comfy in the garden as he is inside. He has really made himself at home and we can’t imagine life without him.”

Normalising making provisions for dogs amongst dog owners

This important message comes as we launch a heart-warming TV advert this week, encouraging people to consider signing up for a free Canine Care Card.

The advert, with a voice over from dog-loving actor, Jonathan Pryce, depicts the close bond between crossbreed, Wilf and his owner, Tom - including Wilf’s penchant for stealing Tom’s underpants. Unfortunately, Tom passes away, but luckily he had signed up to Dogs Trust’s Canine Care Card, meaning that Wilf and all his quirks, were taken in by the charity. The advert will be airing across UK TV screens for eight weeks.

For more information and to ensure your dog will receive a lifetime of care, even when you can't look after them, sign up to our free service.

Register for a Canine Care Card