The PDSA is calling on vets and nurses across the UK to have their say on the ongoing health of the nation’s pets, as part of its annual pet wellbeing survey.

The PDSA is calling on vets and nurses across the UK to have their say on the ongoing health of the nation’s pets, as part of its annual pet wellbeing survey.

For the past two years the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (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 contribute to this year's PAW ReportPreviously, the charity has also asked hundreds of veterinary professionals what they believe are the top issues cat, dog and rabbit issues in practice, and is again calling on vets and VNs to voice their opinions.

Speaking to Vetsonline at BSAVA congress on April 5, 2013, PDSA vet Nicola Martin said: “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 notice any difference in owner compliance over the past three years.”

As well as calling on veterinary colleagues to fill in the 2013 survey, Nicola urged vets and nurses to make use of materials and online learning modules provided by PDSA and make sure they talk to clients about the five welfare needs.

“PDSA can’t change the state of the pet nation by itself, we need to get everybody else involved,” Nicola said.

“It needs everyone in the vet and nursing professions to work together to really make a difference – use posters, run wellbeing clinics, get everyone in practice trained in the five needs.

“I think sometimes the main barrier for vets and nurses in talking about it is confidence in talking about the welfare needs, which is why we created e-learning modules and materials.”

To take part in the 2013 PAW Report and download practice display and learning materials visit www.pdsa.org.uk/pawreport 

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