Christmas ad with surprising ‘don’t shop’ message launches

Dogs Trust film urges people not to buy a dog as a present this Christmas
Dogs Trust film urges people not to buy a dog as a present this Christmas

Dogs Trust, the charity behind the famous ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’ slogan, has launched a Christmas ad with a difference, landing the very important message that ‘dogs aren’t Christmas presents’.

The film has been spurred by the fact that every year the charity takes in dogs who were unwanted Christmas presents.

Last year alone Dogs Trust had nearly 5,000 calls from people wanting to handover their dogs in the month after Christmas, with many of these being Christmas presents that haven’t lived up to expectations, or given up once their owners realised the responsibilities of dog ownership.

In the comical ad we see actors treating Christmas presents like dogs – taking a games console for a walk, throwing a ball for a hairdryer, trying to get a drone to sit and saying goodnight to a bottle of perfume.

The scene then switches to a woman trying to wrap a dog as a present before TV presenter Mel Giedroyc explains in a voiceover that ‘Christmas presents aren’t dogs! And dogs aren’t Christmas presents. A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’.

Mel, who has her own rescue dog Juno, said: “It’s bonkers that people are still buying dogs as Christmas presents. I hope this ad helps people realise the craziness of giving a bouncing, playful, pooing puppy as a present. Getting a dog needs to be a much-pondered decision.

“Remember ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®’!”

Oonagh Phillips, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust in Ballymena, said: “Every year Dogs Trust has dogs brought to us from people who have received them as presents and don’t want them. Once the initial Christmas sparkle has worn off and people realise the huge commitment it takes to own a dog, they come into our care.

“It’s heart-breaking for us to see when it could so easily have been prevented.”

“Dogs are a wonderful addition in the right circumstances, but before bringing one into our homes we all need to think whether they are right for our lifestyles and, whether we can give them a home for life. Christmas presents aren’t dogs, and dogs aren’t Christmas presents. It’s that simple!”

The Christmas ad will be shown in cinemas around the country and online. The charity is urging people to share the film online and help spread the word. It can be viewed on the Dogs Trust website at