At Pet Carers, dog walking is one of the main services we offer to pet owners that are out at work or taking a day off, and we were therefore interested to read Miranda Prynne report in The Telegraph, that a third of Britain’s pet dogs are never taken on a proper walk.
It has been reported, via the polling firm YouGov who surveyed 2,149 pet owners, 555 children and 459 vets for the PDSA’s animal wellbeing and it was stated that 2.7 million dog owners don’t allow their dogs to run off lead, which is adding to the increasing canine obesity problem.
Animal charity PDSA carried out the original study and have also expressed a deep concern suggesting that of the 1.9million dogs living in the UK a quarter are left alone for more than five hours a day – up from 18 per cent in 2011!!! PDSA have suggested that this could lead to “ill, lonely, aggressive, stressed and obese pets”.
Miranda also reports that almost a quarter of homes in the UK have a pet dog although, it seems 35 per cent of them aren’t giving their pet suitable or substantial exercise. This is a huge rise of 600,000 since just 2011.
Dogs Trust behaviourist Stephen Goward said: “Dogs need the company of other animals and humans. They also need daily running off the lead and the freedom to explore new places.” At Pet Carers we love nothing better than watching our dogs interact and socialise with each other knowing that they are getting the exercise and stimulation required to keep them fit and healthy.
PDSA agreed the majority of owners love their dogs but simply do not understand or acknowledge their needs in understanding the importance of daily exercise and companionship, In a statement, the charity said: “What is not in question is the love people have for their pets.”
So the question remains, is this down to laziness or ignorance? Probably both but owners needs to be aware of how to care for their dog to the best of their ability ensuring a long, happy healthy and long life with their beautiful family member.
Nicola Martin, head of pet welfare at PDSA, said: “Signs that pets are suffering or unhappy aren’t always as obvious as people might think. “For example, a dog being fed treats may outwardly show signs of happiness, but what this will be doing inside in terms of weight gain and associated health problems that can develop, such as arthritis and heart disease, can be devastating.”
It doesn’t just stop and dogs! Miranda Prynne also discovered the report found 1 in 4 cats are overweight and millions are not even vaccinated against diseases, in addition 65 per cent of rabbits are forced to live alone when they are naturally sociable creatures.