1.4 million dogs walked less than once a day
The third Monday of every January is named “Blue Monday” - the most depressing day of the year owing to cold weather, dark-nights and a lack of post-Christmas cash.
But new figures taken from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report show that millions of pets across the UK are not just facing a ’Blue Monday’ - they’re facing an unhappy life.
Conducted with the BVA and the BVNA, the PAW report 2018 surveyed more than 900 veterinary surgeons and nurses across the UK. It reveals that many pets are suffering from chronic stress, loneliness and obesity and that many owners are failing to meet their pet’s welfare needs.
The latest figures reveal that more than two million dogs are left alone for five hours or more on a typical weekday, while 1.4 million dogs are walked less than once per day. Perhaps even more concerning, the report shows that 89,000 dogs are not walked at all.
“Pets face another year of long hours spent home alone, with too little exercise,” explained PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “As our busy routines resume after the festive break, we know that millions of dogs will be left for longer than the recommended four hours, leaving them mentally unstimulated and bored.
“It’s no surprise that problem behaviour can develop if left home alone for so long,” she continued. “Too much time indoors without enough exercise leads to health problems on a much larger scale, such as obesity”.
The figures also show that 4.8 million cats in the UK are living in a multi-cat household, while 2.1 million are living alongside a cat or cats they don’t get along with.
“Cats are naturally solitary creatures and, for many, living with other cats can be a source of chronic stress and lead to the onset of problems such as cat fights and behavioural issues like house soiling,” Olivia continued.
By contrast, a staggering 540,000 rabbits, who need a companion to be happy and healthy, were found to live alone. Some 28 per cent of rabbit owners (280,000 rabbits) also revealed that their rabbit lives in inadequate housing.