PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report 2013
U.K. veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), annually surveys companion animal guardians, children aged 10-16, and veterinary staff to measure the well-being of cats, dogs, and rabbits according to five legislated “Duty of Care” criteria. Participants are selected to represent the population by pet species, the owner’s gender, social grade, age, and geographical region. Questions pertain to environment, diet, behavior, companionship, and health. Veterinarian and guardian attitudes on care practices and public policy issues are also contrasted.[Abstract excerpted from original text.]
“The 2011 PAW Report highlighted areas of concern across all five welfare needs within our canine nation – dogs left alone for long periods of time, millions being fed scraps and leftovers as their main food type, high levels of aggression towards people and pets, and across the UK a significant number of dogs that are not receiving lifesaving preventive care. The overall index score for dog health has not changed at all since 2011. However there has been an increase in the percentage of dogs microchipped and neutered in our canine population.
Cat diet is still the biggest concern in relation to feline wellbeing. Inappropriate treats continue to be fed and owner awareness of body shape and how to feed the correct amounts needs to improve to help reduce the high levels of cat obesity. There are still large numbers of cats living in multicat households and awareness of the need for multiple resources in these situations is still low. There has been a small improvement across most areas of preventive healthcare in cats. None of these changes are significant enough to improve the overall index score but the most significant improvement is in the number of cats treated for fleas.
Rabbits continue to score poorly in many areas of their wellbeing.
A significant number still live alone with no company from other rabbits, which is really important as they are highly sociable and need the company of other rabbits. Encouragingly, levels of preventive care are increasing and there has been an improvement in rabbit diets with an increase in amounts of hay and grass being eaten alongside pellet food and a decrease in the feeding of muesli mix-type foods.”