Almost 40% of pet owners in the UK claim they would risk their lives to save their pets if their lives were in danger, according to new research by animal health organisation NOAH (National Office of Animal Health). However, despite our love of animals, many people only take their pet to the vet when it’s ill, rather than making sure it’s happy and healthy all year round. While nearly half of British pet owners claim they would spare no expense on medical treatment if their pet were sick, many of us forget to take preventative healthcare measures. For example, nearly half of pet owners surveyed don’t keep their pets’ vaccines up to date or worm their pets regularly.
NOAH’s new ‘I heart my pet’ campaign encourages caring pet owners to seek expert advice on preventative healthcare measures to ensure their pets stay fit and well all year round. The campaign will direct owners towww.pethealthinfo.org.uk where they will be able to access independent expert advice on preventing disease in all types of pets. Owners can download a specially-created calendar full of seasonal tips and expert advice as well as activity ideas. And because the research reveals that 60% of owners celebrate special occasions with their pets, NOAH has partnered with craft expert, Amy Fleuriot, to create four special pet gifts owners can make, with instructions free to download on the website. These range from pet passport holders, to party collars for dogs and cats and decorative food bowls.
Other findings of the research include:
- 30% of people would sleep on the floor next to their pet if they were ill
- 10% of people would cut down/stop smoking to avoid cutting spending on their pet
- 20% of people would dump a potential partner if their pet didn’t like them
- Nearly half of women say hello to their pets before anyone else when they get home
- Almost 20% of us talk to our pets about the weather
NOAH Chief Executive, Philip Sketchley comments: “The ‘I heart my pet’ campaign is all about celebrating the love we have for our pets as a nation and making sure that rather than just looking after them when they’re sick, we’re preventing disease in the first place. We offer a whole range of practical hints and tips that won’t break the bank and the campaign contains lots of ideas for getting involved, so anyone can join in.”
“The vast majority of pet owners agree that being a responsible pet owner means caring for your pet, feeding it, exercising it and giving it attention,” continues Mr Sketchley. “While we wouldn’t advocate heroics from owners that could potentially put their own lives at risk, it’s important that people take the next step by ensuring they’re fully informed on how to look after animals. That’s why getting the right expert advice and information is vital and this is where the Pet Health Information website – and of course, advice from owners’ own vet and pet care specialist – can help.”
The campaign is backed by Neil Parish, MP, and Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare. He comments:
“As the proud owner of a Labrador called Wilberforce I know that our pets really are members of the family. As such, it’s important that we look after their health just as much as we do our own. That means not only caring for them when they’re sick, but helping prevent this from happening in the first place. I welcome the ‘I heart my pet’ campaign and would urge owners to get involved.”
 55% keep vaccines up to date. 57% regularly worm their pets.
Follow the campaign on Twitter at @IheartmypetUK and on Facebook
NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry: its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.
NOAH’s Pet Health Information (PHI) website gives easy access, immediate, independent advice and was written by veterinary experts. It carries no advertisements and makes no mention of product brands, aims to give sound advice but also promotes the value of expert advice – it encourages owners to go and talk to an expert such as their veterinary surgeon or a pet care specialist.
For further information or an interview, please contact Sara Neame or James Green:
* All stats, unless otherwise stated, taken from research carried out on behalf of NOAH by Opinion Matters among 1,094 small pet owners over the age of 18 living in the UK between 30 July and 08 August 2012