Although owning a dog can be a magical experience, Dogs Trust Ireland are on a campaign to raise awareness about its responsibilities.
Education and community officer Paul Cleary is holding free workshops for 7-12-year-olds in Westmeath libraries.
Whether you own a dog or are thinking of getting a dog or even want to know more about how to approach a dog safely, come and meet Paul and his lurcher, Magic, and find out how to be ‘Dog Smart’.
Workshops: Tuesday 15 August 11.30am, Mullingar Library, 044 9332161; Tuesday 15 August 2.30pm, Kilbeggan Library, 057 9333148; Thursday 17 August 2pm, Castlepollard Library, 044 9332199.
County veterinary officer Sean Ó Laoide said: “The first decision for someone who aspires to be a dog owner is to select a suitable one bearing in mind their circumstances.
“For example, large sporting breeds need a lot of exercise, therefore potential owners must have facilities and must be committed to daily exercise for themselves and their dogs.
“Potential dogs owners must also familiarise themselves with the legal obligations and the particular needs of the dog they choose.
“They must also be aware of the financial commitment, which includes costs such as dog licences, micro-chipping, vaccination and veterinary and boarding fees.”
Westmeath Libraries are delighted to work with the Dogs Trust who believe that by educating young people about the responsibilities and commitment involved in dog ownership that the number of dogs that are mistreated and abandoned can be reduced.