Animal Antics: Charity’s call to think before you buy

Five per cent of dogs are never taken on walks (picture: PA)

Five per cent of dogs are never taken on walks (picture: PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

You wouldn’t have a child or buy a house without thinking about the costs and effect on your lifestyle beforehand, so why should that be any different with a pet?

That’s the call from the PDSA, who found that around one in five London pet owners are buying animals impulsively, without carrying out any prior research.

One in eight think their pet will cost under £500 throughout its lifetime.

That’s a huge underestimate, as a cat can cost as much as £17,0000.

The findings came from the charity’s animal wellbeing report which assesses the habits of owners across the country.

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In response to the serious welfare issues it uncovered, it is launching the #PawsFirst campaign to highlight the problem of getting a pet without understanding their needs.

“PDSA’s research shows that as a nation, we’re still in love with the idea of pet ownership with over half of UK households owning a pet and 88 per cent of pet owners believing that owning a pet improves their lives,” said Nicola Martin, the PDSA’s head of pet health and welfare.

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“But impulse acquisitions and busy lifestyles mean some people are totally unprepared for the realities, and the effort, that owning a happy, healthy pet entails.”

The report also found that across the country, millions of animals are being left alone for long periods of time.

A quarter of London owners thinking it’s acceptable to leave their pet home alone for between six to 10 hours while they go to work.

Five pc of dogs are never taken for walks, while 24pc of cats live indoors all the time.

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