A shocking study was published recently showing the enormous problems faced by the rehoming charities in dealing with the volume of dogs that are put up for adoption.

As an owner of 3 Labradors, I can vouch for how much love and pleasure a dog can bring. But alongside that pleasure comes a degree of commitment and responsibility.

The recent report showed that dog owners’ lack of research before buying is resulting in tens of thousands of dogs being rehomed each year. The new research revealed women aged between 35-44 are more likely to give their dogs away to be rehomed than their male counterparts, with over 50%of dogs being given up for rehoming belonging to women  while 17% had male owners and 27% were handed over  by couples who made the decision jointly.

There are hundreds of rescue charities up and down the country but the Kennel Club Breed Rescue Associations figures show they alone deal with 20,000 annually.

Lifestyle changes, a lack of training, and time to adequately look after the family pet are the main reasons why dogs are rehomed. Every year dogs are abandoned or given up when the novelty wears off. Dogs should be a lifelong commitment and anyone considering getting a pet needs to be sure that they will be able to properly care for the animal for the rest of its life.

January is still the busiest month for the dog rescue charities, highlighting the impact of many families being unprepared for getting a dog and potentially still purchasing them as a Christmas gift, despite advice to the contrary. More than one in three breed rescue organisations reported an increase of dogs needing to be rehomed in 2013 compared with 2012.

Responsible dog ownership involves a long term commitment to training, socialising, exercising and grooming your pet. Keeping a dog has an associated cost and so it is essential to budget for food, Vet fees and any kennelling costs. All dogs should be microchipped, vaccinated annually and require regular worm and flea treatment.

In exchange for these relatively modest requirements, a dog can give you endless love and enjoyment. I know that after a busy day at work, I will have 3 happy faces and waggy tails greet me at the kitchen door as soon as I walk in and that pleasure is easily worth the commitment that dog ownership entails.