Vets and VNs have an extra week to have their say on UK pet health, as part of this year’s PDSA well-being survey.

Vets and VNs have an extra week to have their say on UK pet health, as part of this year’s PDSA well-being survey.

The charity had planned to close submissions for its 2013 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report on May 31, 2013, however, it has now decided to extend the deadline until June 7 to get as much veterinary feedback as possible.

For the past two years the PAW Report has quizzed thousands of cat, dog and rabbit owners about how they keep their animals and how they measure up to the five pet welfare needs of environment, diet, behaviour, companionship and health, as outlined in the Animal Welfare Act.

PDSA is calling on vets and VNs to have their say on the health of the nation's petsIt has also quizzed hundreds of vets and nurses about the state of pet health and owner behaviour.

Last year’s figures revealed some shocking trends on pet diet, preventive health care and owner’s decision-making processes. For example, the PAW Report 2013 found only 3% of owners are able to identify the shape of a healthy dog, while 44% of rabbit owners continue to feed their animals muesli as their main source of food, and 15% of owners spend more time choosing their Christmas presents and insurance than they do pets.

Last week, the charity released fresh figures from the report, which showed around a half of all dogs, cats and rabbits in the UK are not vaccinated or neutered.

Urging colleagues to take part on this year’s poll, PDSA vet Nicola Martin said: “The views of the profession are vital in building a full picture of the state of our pet nation. The more responses we get, the better idea we will have of the issues that really concern you the most. Tell us what you think, and how you want to improve pet well-being.”

She told Vetsonline: “We had 460 vets and nurses respond last year and we’d like to hit the 500 mark this year, if not higher. The more responses we can get from vet professionals, the more we can glean about the top issues affecting vets and VNs.

“This time round we will be asking new questions about things like internet pet sales and the growing research into rabbit diets, but we will also be asking questions about aggression, obesity and whether owners are meeting the five welfare needs, as well as whether those in practice have noticed any difference in owner compliance over the past three years.”

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