Pet owners unaware of animals' basic needs, report reveals

Daily Echo: Two-thirds of pet owners do not know the five basic things that keep animals healthy and happy Two-thirds of pet owners do not know the five basic things that keep animals healthy and happy

MOST Hampshire pet owners remain unaware of their furry friend’s basic welfare needs, a report has revealed.

More than two-thirds of owners in the south east are not familiar with the Animal Welfare Act and the five basic things that keep animals healthy and happy – below the national average.

The Animal Wellbeing Report, by pet charity PDSA, found that 31 per cent of owners are familiar with the Animal Welfare Act.

It also revealed that pets in the region are missing out on basic healthcare, such as 21 per cent who are not receiving life-saving vaccinations, while more than a third of pets are not microchipped and 53 per cent of pets are not insured.

The Animal Welfare Act states animals need a suitable environment, a suitable diet, to be able to show normal behaviour, to be housed with, or apart from, other animals and to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Nationally, the report, which surveyed more than 2,000 pet owners, revealed that only five per cent of cat owners take their pet’s body shape and weight into account when feeding them and around 2.3million cats risk their life being cut short by potentially fatal diseases like cat flu and feline leukaemia because they have not been vaccinated.

And it found 35 per cent of dogs are not getting daily off the lead exercise, the proportion of dogs being left alone for five hours or more has increased by seven per cent to 25 per cent and 58 per cent of dogs did not got to training classes in their first six months.

But the report, produced in conjunction with YouGov, also found 91 per cent of people believe it is important to regularly monitor pets’ wellbeing.

Nicola Martin, PDSA’s head of pet health and welfare said: “We want to help the public turn their affection for their pets into positive action to help make a better life for the UK’s pet population.

“The five animal welfare needs are of vital importance to the nation’s pets.

“They ensure that their animals’ most basic mental and physical requirements – a suitable place to live, the right diet, the ability to display normal behaviour, appropriate companionship and protection from pain, suffering and disease – are being met.

“It is clear from this year’s report findings that many UK pets are missing out on these, not because owners don’t care, but because there is a broad misunderstanding out there about what pet wellbeing really means.”

The PDSA has launched an innovative tool – The PDSA Big Pet Check – a nationwide campaign which asks people simple questions about their pet and gives advice on pet care. Log on to abetterlifeforpets.org.uk.

Comments (11)

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7:47am Sun 15 Dec 13

Schmeggles says...

“The five animal welfare needs are of vital importance to the nation’s pets.

“They ensure that their animals’ most basic mental and physical requirements – a suitable place to live, the right diet, the ability to display normal behaviour, appropriate companionship and protection from pain, suffering and disease – are being met.


I'm sure that the majority couldn't quote The Animal Welfare Act but surely the above goes without saying?!?.... Anyone who isn't providing these basic needs shouldn't, in my humble opinion, be allowed pets!
“The five animal welfare needs are of vital importance to the nation’s pets. “They ensure that their animals’ most basic mental and physical requirements – a suitable place to live, the right diet, the ability to display normal behaviour, appropriate companionship and protection from pain, suffering and disease – are being met. I'm sure that the majority couldn't quote The Animal Welfare Act but surely the above goes without saying?!?.... Anyone who isn't providing these basic needs shouldn't, in my humble opinion, be allowed pets! Schmeggles

8:22am Sun 15 Dec 13

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Micro chipping and pet INSURANCE does not affect any animals WELFARE , Bloody ridiculous comment ! The PDSA & RSPCA do fantastic support for animal welfare . And most pet owners also have the welfare of their pets for most . What needs looking at is the VET charges , these are utter criminal , if you do not do your own research and BUY pet medication online. This needs to be made fully aware , and a simple search will not only tell a owner what the pet is possibly suffering from , but also where to buy . Basic worming can save you ££ over a year if you buy online , let alone any other medication required . PET INSURANCE is a total CON , it pays every owner to set up a separate account and pay into this monthly . . OWNERS do your own online research and save money , which then helps the owners welfare and you still have a happy loved pet . DO NOT feed the greedy VET bank accounts , as most are far worse than LOAN SHARKS with their charges
Micro chipping and pet INSURANCE does not affect any animals WELFARE , Bloody ridiculous comment ! The PDSA & RSPCA do fantastic support for animal welfare . And most pet owners also have the welfare of their pets for most . What needs looking at is the VET charges , these are utter criminal , if you do not do your own research and BUY pet medication online. This needs to be made fully aware , and a simple search will not only tell a owner what the pet is possibly suffering from , but also where to buy . Basic worming can save you ££ over a year if you buy online , let alone any other medication required . PET INSURANCE is a total CON , it pays every owner to set up a separate account and pay into this monthly . . OWNERS do your own online research and save money , which then helps the owners welfare and you still have a happy loved pet . DO NOT feed the greedy VET bank accounts , as most are far worse than LOAN SHARKS with their charges SPIKEISLANDTRADER

8:47am Sun 15 Dec 13

freakout says...

Can,t help but leave my dogs for more than 5 hours .I rescued one from abroad as a puppy found him in a box by the swimming pool he would of died or been sent off to livearico were there are far to many abandoned dogs as it is so i paid over £500 to bring him here for a better life which he has i bought another dog to keep him company while i am at work ,There Happy i walk them as often as possiable .Cant afford a dog walker as they charge way to much ,and you dont know if there doing what they say they do ,I know many dogs are left for more than 5 hours ,I have friends who have dogs left in crates for 8 hours plus while there at work that i dont agree with
Can,t help but leave my dogs for more than 5 hours .I rescued one from abroad as a puppy found him in a box by the swimming pool he would of died or been sent off to livearico were there are far to many abandoned dogs as it is so i paid over £500 to bring him here for a better life which he has i bought another dog to keep him company while i am at work ,There Happy i walk them as often as possiable .Cant afford a dog walker as they charge way to much ,and you dont know if there doing what they say they do ,I know many dogs are left for more than 5 hours ,I have friends who have dogs left in crates for 8 hours plus while there at work that i dont agree with freakout

9:46am Sun 15 Dec 13

solomum says...

Most pet owners are completely responsible and fully understand their pets basic needs. That does not mean though that they would be able to recite the animal welfare act. Unfortunately there are also a lot of pets living in very unsuitable conditions. If you cannot afford to pay vet bills or are unable to provide the exercise that animals require, then do not have a pet. Too many people have pets with no means of caring for them.
Most pet owners are completely responsible and fully understand their pets basic needs. That does not mean though that they would be able to recite the animal welfare act. Unfortunately there are also a lot of pets living in very unsuitable conditions. If you cannot afford to pay vet bills or are unable to provide the exercise that animals require, then do not have a pet. Too many people have pets with no means of caring for them. solomum

11:08am Sun 15 Dec 13

redsnapper says...

Just another example of big brother attitude. Sure there are some thickoes around who cannot look after themselves, let alone any poor creature that they "own" but the vast majority of animals in good ownership in the UK.

And agree with above microchipping and insurance is not necessary and down to owners decision.
Just another example of big brother attitude. Sure there are some thickoes around who cannot look after themselves, let alone any poor creature that they "own" but the vast majority of animals in good ownership in the UK. And agree with above microchipping and insurance is not necessary and down to owners decision. redsnapper

11:40am Sun 15 Dec 13

exforester says...

The RSPCA should perhaps. Follow their own advice. A couple of years ago, a huge stray, un-neutered Tom started hanging around my house. I chased him away when I saw him, but this didn’t deter him. He was very aggressive, and occasionally went for me. He’d come into the house when I was at work, spraying everything, and started attacking my 3 (neutered) cats, who were becoming very upset, and of course open to infection and severe injury from this cat. I realised the stray had an ear infection. I was fed up with him, but didn’t see why he should suffer, so I phoned the RSPCA and explained the situation. I was asked if I knew who the owner was – the word ‘stray’ should have informed him. He then suggested I ‘cornered him in the kitchen, trapped him and took him to the vet’. Right, huge aggressive cat in a lot of pain, trap him, how? Get him to the vet…..How? Not MY cat….. Perhaps the RSPCA man thought it WAS my cat, and I wanted ‘free’ treatment – I suggested he came round, saw my 3 (by now terrified) cats, who, thanks to this stray, were being denied most of the 5 ‘welfare needs’ stated by the RSPCA. If he saw the (non) interaction between me, my cats and the stray – he’d soon realise it wasn’t my cat.
But no. It appears that, the RSPCA are more interested in finding an owner to sue than the welfare of animals. I had to keep my cats indoors - which they weren't used to - with the cat flap firmly locked for about 6 months, until this unfortunate stray disappeared, probably to a very painful, slow, lingering death.
The RSPCA should perhaps. Follow their own advice. A couple of years ago, a huge stray, un-neutered Tom started hanging around my house. I chased him away when I saw him, but this didn’t deter him. He was very aggressive, and occasionally went for me. He’d come into the house when I was at work, spraying everything, and started attacking my 3 (neutered) cats, who were becoming very upset, and of course open to infection and severe injury from this cat. I realised the stray had an ear infection. I was fed up with him, but didn’t see why he should suffer, so I phoned the RSPCA and explained the situation. I was asked if I knew who the owner was – the word ‘stray’ should have informed him. He then suggested I ‘cornered him in the kitchen, trapped him and took him to the vet’. Right, huge aggressive cat in a lot of pain, trap him, how? Get him to the vet…..How? Not MY cat….. Perhaps the RSPCA man thought it WAS my cat, and I wanted ‘free’ treatment – I suggested he came round, saw my 3 (by now terrified) cats, who, thanks to this stray, were being denied most of the 5 ‘welfare needs’ stated by the RSPCA. If he saw the (non) interaction between me, my cats and the stray – he’d soon realise it wasn’t my cat. But no. It appears that, the RSPCA are more interested in finding an owner to sue than the welfare of animals. I had to keep my cats indoors - which they weren't used to - with the cat flap firmly locked for about 6 months, until this unfortunate stray disappeared, probably to a very painful, slow, lingering death. exforester

12:59pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Graeme Harrison says...

SPIKEISLANDTRADER wrote:
Micro chipping and pet INSURANCE does not affect any animals WELFARE , Bloody ridiculous comment ! The PDSA & RSPCA do fantastic support for animal welfare . And most pet owners also have the welfare of their pets for most . What needs looking at is the VET charges , these are utter criminal , if you do not do your own research and BUY pet medication online. This needs to be made fully aware , and a simple search will not only tell a owner what the pet is possibly suffering from , but also where to buy . Basic worming can save you ££ over a year if you buy online , let alone any other medication required . PET INSURANCE is a total CON , it pays every owner to set up a separate account and pay into this monthly . . OWNERS do your own online research and save money , which then helps the owners welfare and you still have a happy loved pet . DO NOT feed the greedy VET bank accounts , as most are far worse than LOAN SHARKS with their charges
Ah yes, the internet: because it's never the source of crap advice.
[quote][p][bold]SPIKEISLANDTRADER[/bold] wrote: Micro chipping and pet INSURANCE does not affect any animals WELFARE , Bloody ridiculous comment ! The PDSA & RSPCA do fantastic support for animal welfare . And most pet owners also have the welfare of their pets for most . What needs looking at is the VET charges , these are utter criminal , if you do not do your own research and BUY pet medication online. This needs to be made fully aware , and a simple search will not only tell a owner what the pet is possibly suffering from , but also where to buy . Basic worming can save you ££ over a year if you buy online , let alone any other medication required . PET INSURANCE is a total CON , it pays every owner to set up a separate account and pay into this monthly . . OWNERS do your own online research and save money , which then helps the owners welfare and you still have a happy loved pet . DO NOT feed the greedy VET bank accounts , as most are far worse than LOAN SHARKS with their charges[/p][/quote]Ah yes, the internet: because it's never the source of crap advice. Graeme Harrison

2:52pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Mary80 says...

I had a cat for 20 years the vet i used was infamous for giving injections they didn't need to bump the price up, and he didnt' notice my cat's teeth were all rotten when a vet SHOULD have checked this out. I was so angry i refused to go back there and luckily took my cat to an RSPCA vet who were more than affordable and made the last few years of his life more than comfortable.
I had a cat for 20 years the vet i used was infamous for giving injections they didn't need to bump the price up, and he didnt' notice my cat's teeth were all rotten when a vet SHOULD have checked this out. I was so angry i refused to go back there and luckily took my cat to an RSPCA vet who were more than affordable and made the last few years of his life more than comfortable. Mary80

3:00pm Sun 15 Dec 13

geoff51 says...

exforester wrote:
The RSPCA should perhaps. Follow their own advice. A couple of years ago, a huge stray, un-neutered Tom started hanging around my house. I chased him away when I saw him, but this didn’t deter him. He was very aggressive, and occasionally went for me. He’d come into the house when I was at work, spraying everything, and started attacking my 3 (neutered) cats, who were becoming very upset, and of course open to infection and severe injury from this cat. I realised the stray had an ear infection. I was fed up with him, but didn’t see why he should suffer, so I phoned the RSPCA and explained the situation. I was asked if I knew who the owner was – the word ‘stray’ should have informed him. He then suggested I ‘cornered him in the kitchen, trapped him and took him to the vet’. Right, huge aggressive cat in a lot of pain, trap him, how? Get him to the vet…..How? Not MY cat….. Perhaps the RSPCA man thought it WAS my cat, and I wanted ‘free’ treatment – I suggested he came round, saw my 3 (by now terrified) cats, who, thanks to this stray, were being denied most of the 5 ‘welfare needs’ stated by the RSPCA. If he saw the (non) interaction between me, my cats and the stray – he’d soon realise it wasn’t my cat.
But no. It appears that, the RSPCA are more interested in finding an owner to sue than the welfare of animals. I had to keep my cats indoors - which they weren't used to - with the cat flap firmly locked for about 6 months, until this unfortunate stray disappeared, probably to a very painful, slow, lingering death.
Hear hear The RSPCA has become a political pawn of its new CEO who is a rabid anti hunting and shooting member of the LACS. They spend more time spuriously prosecuting suspected breaches of the hunting with dogs act than they do protecting animals from abuse by incompetent or lazy owners.
The sooner the RSPCA returns to their roots as they were set up to do and starts protecting animals in trouble then they may become respected again and get back the contributions that have been denied them owing to their new direction.
I do respect the PDSA as they provide care for animals where the owner may not be able to find the full cost of vet care, preventing the animal suffering by high vets fees.
If you want to help animals there are many more worthy charities that care more for animals than the RSPCA so direct your contributions to them and show the RSPCA that they are heading in the wrong direction.
[quote][p][bold]exforester[/bold] wrote: The RSPCA should perhaps. Follow their own advice. A couple of years ago, a huge stray, un-neutered Tom started hanging around my house. I chased him away when I saw him, but this didn’t deter him. He was very aggressive, and occasionally went for me. He’d come into the house when I was at work, spraying everything, and started attacking my 3 (neutered) cats, who were becoming very upset, and of course open to infection and severe injury from this cat. I realised the stray had an ear infection. I was fed up with him, but didn’t see why he should suffer, so I phoned the RSPCA and explained the situation. I was asked if I knew who the owner was – the word ‘stray’ should have informed him. He then suggested I ‘cornered him in the kitchen, trapped him and took him to the vet’. Right, huge aggressive cat in a lot of pain, trap him, how? Get him to the vet…..How? Not MY cat….. Perhaps the RSPCA man thought it WAS my cat, and I wanted ‘free’ treatment – I suggested he came round, saw my 3 (by now terrified) cats, who, thanks to this stray, were being denied most of the 5 ‘welfare needs’ stated by the RSPCA. If he saw the (non) interaction between me, my cats and the stray – he’d soon realise it wasn’t my cat. But no. It appears that, the RSPCA are more interested in finding an owner to sue than the welfare of animals. I had to keep my cats indoors - which they weren't used to - with the cat flap firmly locked for about 6 months, until this unfortunate stray disappeared, probably to a very painful, slow, lingering death.[/p][/quote]Hear hear The RSPCA has become a political pawn of its new CEO who is a rabid anti hunting and shooting member of the LACS. They spend more time spuriously prosecuting suspected breaches of the hunting with dogs act than they do protecting animals from abuse by incompetent or lazy owners. The sooner the RSPCA returns to their roots as they were set up to do and starts protecting animals in trouble then they may become respected again and get back the contributions that have been denied them owing to their new direction. I do respect the PDSA as they provide care for animals where the owner may not be able to find the full cost of vet care, preventing the animal suffering by high vets fees. If you want to help animals there are many more worthy charities that care more for animals than the RSPCA so direct your contributions to them and show the RSPCA that they are heading in the wrong direction. geoff51

3:02pm Sun 15 Dec 13

geoff51 says...

Mary80 wrote:
I had a cat for 20 years the vet i used was infamous for giving injections they didn't need to bump the price up, and he didnt' notice my cat's teeth were all rotten when a vet SHOULD have checked this out. I was so angry i refused to go back there and luckily took my cat to an RSPCA vet who were more than affordable and made the last few years of his life more than comfortable.
Don't you mean the PDSA?
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: I had a cat for 20 years the vet i used was infamous for giving injections they didn't need to bump the price up, and he didnt' notice my cat's teeth were all rotten when a vet SHOULD have checked this out. I was so angry i refused to go back there and luckily took my cat to an RSPCA vet who were more than affordable and made the last few years of his life more than comfortable.[/p][/quote]Don't you mean the PDSA? geoff51

3:49pm Sun 15 Dec 13

eurogordi says...

Statistically, this research is totally flawed.

As someone who is involved in animal welfare, the majority of people in my experience know how to provide for the welfare needs of their pets.

Perhaps they might not be able to quote the Animal Welfare Act by chapter and verse, but that does not mean they are neglecting their animals.

Microchipping and insurance DOES NOT result in a happy pet, although I would certainly recommended both.

I also agree with the comments made against the RSPCA and prefer to be involved with organisations that really do care about animals!
Statistically, this research is totally flawed. As someone who is involved in animal welfare, the majority of people in my experience know how to provide for the welfare needs of their pets. Perhaps they might not be able to quote the Animal Welfare Act by chapter and verse, but that does not mean they are neglecting their animals. Microchipping and insurance DOES NOT result in a happy pet, although I would certainly recommended both. I also agree with the comments made against the RSPCA and prefer to be involved with organisations that really do care about animals! eurogordi

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