PDSA has revealed more than five million dogs, cats and rabbits have never been vaccinated with a primary course.

Dog on lead.
PDSA says it aims to vaccinate more than 60,000 pets this year.

Data from the charity’s latest Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report also shows one in three pets (33%) aren’t receiving regular booster vaccinations

Pets at risk

PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones said: “As a vet, there is nothing more heart-breaking than seeing an animal lose its life to a disease that could have been prevented.

“Many pet owners don’t realise the dangers of diseases like parvovirus until it’s too late. The severe viral infection is highly contagious and commonly leads to septicaemia and death in dogs.

“Our research found nearly a quarter of pet owners who haven’t vaccinated their pets think vaccination is unnecessary. The figure among rabbit owners who don’t vaccinate is even higher, with one in three citing this reason for not vaccinating. This is obviously very concerning and shows we need to raise awareness of how essential vaccinations and regular boosters are.”

Vet teams at PDSA are using funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery to encourage pet owners to get their pets vaccinated and ensure their boosters are up to date. PDSA aims to vaccinate more than 60,000 pets this year.

Regional breakdown

Research shows pets in Wales are at greater risk than those in England and Scotland of contracting preventable diseases, as 30% of pets in the region haven’t received their primary vaccination course.

Other high-risk areas for pets include the east Midlands (29%) and west Midlands (28%) as well as London (28%). Pets in Scotland receive a higher uptake of primary vaccination courses overall, with 81% of animals receiving this.

Region % of pets that have not received their primary vaccination course
Wales 30%
East Midlands 29%
West Midlands 28%
London 28%
North-east 23%
North-west 23%
Northern Ireland 22%
Yorkshire and the Humber 21%
South-east 21%
South-west 21%
East of England 20%
Scotland 19%

For more information, visit www.pdsa.org.uk

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