Are we killing our pets with kind­ness?

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

Recog­nis­ing when a pet is over­weight is the top issue vets and vet nurses wish UK pet own­ers knew about their an­i­mals, ac­cord­ing to new find­ings re­leased for Na­tional Pet Month. More than one in five of ve­teri­nary pro­fes­sion­als (23 per cent) said the num­ber one thing they wished their client knew about their pet was di­etre­lated, with sug­ges­tions rang­ing from con­sid­er­ing ‘Am I feed­ing them the right food?’ to ‘Pets need a lot less food than we think!’, and “We have to pro­tect them from them­selves and not give into that ‘look’, es­pe­cially where food is con­cerned!” Over 500 vets and vet nurses across the UK were polled by the Ve­teri­nary An­i­mal Wel­fare Coali­tion, which is made up of lead­ing ve­teri­nary or­gan­i­sa­tions and vet-led an­i­mal char­i­ties and aims to help pet own­ers bet­ter un­der­stand their pets’ five wel­fare needs. The an­swers given fell into 26 dif­fer­ent themes, cov­er­ing a wide va­ri­ety of pet care is­sues. The top five most fre­quently men­tioned things ve­teri­nary pro­fes­sion­als wished all pet own­ers knew are:

• How to recog­nise when your an­i­mal is over­weight

• That flat-faced breeds suf­fer lots of health and wel­fare is­sues

• How to recog­nise signs that your an­i­mal is in pain

• You have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to care for your pet prop­erly and fol­low the five an­i­mal wel­fare needs

• That your ve­teri­nary team is the best place to go to for ad­vice on all ar­eas of pet care, in­clud­ing what pet may be the most suit­able for you Gu­drun Ravetz, Pres­i­dent of the Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion said: ‘Every owner loves their pet; how­ever, the vet team of­ten see an­i­mals with prob­lems that could be avoided. Vets and vet nurses are in­valu­able sources for pet care in­for­ma­tion with years of train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence un­der their belts, and will be more than happy to an­swer any queries or con­cerns own­ers may have about their pets.’ Every day through­out Na­tional Pet Month, the Ve­teri­nary An­i­mal Wel­fare Coali­tion – the Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion, Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary Nurs­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, Bri­tish Small An­i­mal Ve­teri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion, Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary Zoo­log­i­cal So­ci­ety, Blue Cross, PDSA and RSPCA – will be tweet­ing the var­i­ous things vets and vet nurses wished pet own­ers knew. To find out more, check out their Twit­ter feeds or fol­low the hash­tag #Wewishy­ouknew. Samantha Mor­gan, Pres­i­dent of the Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary Nurs­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, said: ‘Peo­ple bring their pets to the ve­teri­nary prac­tice when they are sick, how­ever, what they also do not re­alise is that the Ve­teri­nary team can also pro­vide a lot of ad­vice for keep­ing pets healthy too. From diet and ex­er­cise to flea and worm­ing treat­ments, ve­teri­nary nurses and ve­teri­nary sur­geons have the knowl­edge to keep pets happy.’ The Ve­teri­nary An­i­mal Wel­fare Coali­tion was formed to meet the rec­om­men­da­tions in the Vet Fu­tures project and aims to de­liver aware­ness rais­ing and be­hav­iour change com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paigns, based around re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship and the five wel­fare needs as out­lined in the An­i­mal Wel­fare Acts.

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