Orchard Vet's Blog

National Pet Month


Throughout April the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) and the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) join together for National Pet Month – an educational campaign unique in bringing together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, pet businesses, schools, youth groups, and pet lovers

Did you know...

More than half of the adults in the UK own a pet
There is an estimated population of 12 million pet cats
34% of the UK population have a dog

There have been countless studies conducted on the benefits of owning a pet. Obviously, owning a dog is a great excuse to get outside and get some exercise, but pet ownership has also been linked to a decrease in loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety. Pets can also help to teach children responsibility, and even stroking our pet can lower blood pressure which can reduce the likelihood of strokes and heart disease!

Pets make us laugh, cheer us up when we’re sad, never share our secrets and always provide a shoulder to cry on.

In the UK the welfare of companion animals is protected by the Animal Welfare Act. This means that all pet owners must take steps to ensure that their animals are properly cared for by providing for the five welfare needs. These are:

- A suitable environment
- A suitable diet
- To be able to exhibit natural behaviours
- To be housed with, or apart from other animals
- To be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Being a responsible pet owner starts before you bring your new furbaby home. When thinking about what species or breed you might want to introduce in to your family, you should first think about your lifestyle. Having a pet can be expensive with the cost adding up to tens of thousands of pounds over its lifetime. As well as thinking about cost and lifestyle, you’ll need to think about their health and well-being needs. Some pets might require a specific type of diet, and one animals exercise needs can be different to another’s.

There are many ways to support National Pet Month aside from practising being a responsible pet owner. Here are just a few suggestions…

- Donate to or volunteer at an animal shelter
- Pamper and spoil your pet
- Fundraise for an animal charity
- Have a professional photo taken with your pet
- Research! Find out as much as you can about animal care

For more information on how you can continue to provide the best in animal care to your pets, visit the Kennel Club website, Dogs Trust, Cats Protection or the RSPCA.