Britain has long been seen as a nation of animal lovers and very soon the great pet owning public will get a chance to prove it when National Pet Month – April 1 – May 6, 2013 kicks off in just a few days’ time.
With almost 50 per cent of UK households owning at least one pet, this national celebration of responsible pet ownership offers pet fans across the UK the chance to come together and raise money for their favourite pet charities by staging and attending a wide variety of fun and educational events.
Now in its 24th year, National Pet Month offers a lifeline to pet charities throughout the country and sees all kinds of organisations taking part – from nurseries and schools to colleges, workplaces, clubs, churches, community groups, pet stores, veterinary clinics and many others.
Not only that but there’ll be all kinds of competitions running throughout the campaign, plus special school lesson plans to help youngsters learn about the importance of looking after pets properly.
At the heart of the campaign lies NPM’s Top 10 Tips For Responsible Pet Ownership.
Last year’s fun events included everything from special veterinary open days and sponsored dog walks to bake sales, pet shows, pet fashion parades and special church services for animals and their owners.
Keep fit queen and pet owner Rosemary Conley is among a host of celebrities supporting this year’s National Pet Month. Others include TV vet Marc Abraham, West End stars Jodie Prenger and Daniel Boys and actress Lu Corfield (Doctors, Candy Cabs).
“It’s really important for people to own a pet because it makes them think, not just about themselves, but about caring for another being,” says pet owning Rosemary, who is lending her support to the campaign for the second year running.
“Pets are a tonic for your health, both mentally and physically,” she adds.
This year’s National Pet Month theme is ‘Your Pets and You; companions for life’ which looks at the companionship side of owning a pet and the health benefits that come with pet ownership.
Phil Sketchley, National Pet Month Chairman explains: “Whether you are a toddler or a pensioner a pet can be a truly wonderful companion, helping to reduce anxiety and instil a sense of calm. Scientific research suggests there are numerous associated health benefits of pet ownership which we’ll be highlighting during National Pet Month.
“Pets really do make people’s lives happier and healthier and so what better way to repay them than by encouraging people to spread the responsible pet ownership message and help raise cash for pet charities around the UK?”
To say we British love our pets is an understatement. A survey carried out in 2012 on behalf of the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) proved beyond all doubt just how much we like to share our lives with animals.
- 48% of UK households have at least one pet – that’s the equivalent of 13 million households around the country
- 8 million cats and 8 million dogs share their lives with us in the UK
- 23% of UK households own at least one dog
- 19% of UK households own at least one cat
- There are approximately 67 million pets in the UK
Animal fans from across the country are asked to show their support for National Pet Month by staging and attending fundraising events for local pet charities, taking part in schools projects and competitions and helping spread the word on important pet ownership issues. Phil Sketchley said:
“We know how much we Brits love our pets. Now it’s time to show just how much by raising cash for our favourite pet charities and encouraging others to look after pets responsibly. Join us and TOGETHER we can make a difference,”
Anyone can register as a supporter on the National Pet Month website for free www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk where they’ll receive a free events pack featuring information on NPM’s key messages plus posters and tips on how to successfully stage an event.
They can then register their event on the NPM interactive map. www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk/events/ – which is where pet lovers can also find out what’s going on in their area.
Pet fans can follow National Pet Month on Facebook www.facebook.com/NationalPetMonth and on Twitter @NatPetMonthUK
National Pet Month takes place from April 1 to May 6 2013