Badly behaved and overweight pets are fuelling a pet welfare crisis in Britain, according to the annual PAW Report from PDSA.

The 2014 report reveals a rise in dog aggression directed both at humans and others pets, and concerns relating to destructive behaviour, both caused by a cocktail of boredom, lack of training and socialisation and worryingly low levels of regular exercise.

A quarter of a million dogs are behaving aggressively towards people every week. And dog hostility towards other pets, including attacks, has risen to more than 600,000.

Pet obesity levels are also continuing to increase with 80% of vets and vet nurses now predicting there will be more overweight pets than healthy pets in five years’ time, and with 5.5m pets being fed fatty treats the pet obesity epidemic is set to balloon.

Another finding is 2.4m dogs in the UK are not given the opportunity to safely exercise off the lead outside of the home or garden on a daily basis – with more than 800,000 of these dogs never going for walks.

The statistics are taken from PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report*, the largest ever annual assessment of pet welfare (which has surveyed 21,000 pet owners during the past four years).

PDSA head of pet health and welfare, Nicola Martin, said: “We are undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers, with four out of five pet owners stating they feel physically or mentally healthier because of their pet.

“However, our latest findings reveal anti-social behaviour in dogs continues to rise due to a worrying lack of training, socialisation and exercise. Owners are sadly continuing to feed the wrong types of food with portion sizes out of control. Preventive health is also a major concern – the basics such as vaccinations and neutering are often ignored by owners, leaving their pets vulnerable to a wide range of deadly diseases. 

“The more people who take the survey and share their views with us, the more we can identify the most vital and pressing pet welfare issues, and provide the right support and solutions to help make improvements.”

For more information, and to take part in the next PAW Report, visit

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