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Pet owners unaware of animals' basic needs, report reveals
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.
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