The saying "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" was coined 34 years ago by the Dogs Trust, but it seems its relevancy is just as pertinent today as it was back then.
The very worst excuses used by dog owners getting rid of their pets have been disclosed today by the animal welfare charity - and they make for sober reading.
A sample of excuses given to the Dogs Trust:
It's not as cute as it used to be
It's too big for the house
It barks too much
It snores too loudlyIt can't do tricks
It keeps passing wind
It smells of 'dog'
The dog doesn't match the sofa
It scares the goldfish
It keeps barking at butterflies
It doesn't look like he did on the website
The dog was too old and no longer brought me any joy
It hurts my back to pick up my dog’s poop
I need a smaller dog
He wouldn’t fit in my handbag or wear the outfit I bought him
It can’t walk on the lino in my house
The dog gets too much attention
The dog doesn’t like me (after 24 hours)
Although some owners have legitimate reasons for giving up a dog, too often a flimsy reason is presented to staff at the charity's rehoming centres.
Four year old Terrier, Kirk, was handed in as his owners felt he got too excited when he was taken for walks.
A total of 16,000 dogs have been cared for by the Trust over the past year but the charity is bracing itself for a Christmas influx of unwanted pets.
Too many owners do not think through the commitment, dedication and money necessary to own a dog, according to Clarissa Baldwin, the CEO of Dogs Trust.
She said: "We see a number of dogs handed into our rehoming centres in the days and weeks following Christmas when the appeal of a cute puppy has worn off.
"It seems that people are still giving puppies as Christmas presents without considering the long term ramifications.
"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.”