British pet food producer Lily’s Kitchen has joined forces with the UK veterinary charity PDSA to launch a new activity at KidZania UK in Westfield, London. It aims to help children learn how to keep pets happy and healthy.
The new joint-branded Pet Wellbeing Centre at KidZania has been created to educate the next generation of pet owners about animal welfare in a fun and engaging way.
The Pet Wellbeing Centre includes role-play situations where children learn about the five welfare needs, including good pet nutrition. They can examine real-life animal x-rays and even ‘perform surgery’ on a poorly pet.
The activity joins the wide range of 60 careers at KidZania, the ‘indoor city run by kids’, designed to both entertain and educate children. These include being a pilot, paramedic, TV presenter or firefighter.
The Pet Wellbeing Centre has been introduced following a survey of children visiting KidZania which revealed that 79 percent wanted to see a veterinary activity within the city. It will be run by a pet wellbeing team, ensuring visitors are aware of the five welfare needs and how they can meet them.
In the UK 51 percent of households own a pet, according to the PDSA’s PAW Report 2017. In 2016, the charity found that there are over 5.2 million cat, dog and rabbit owners (24 percent) who have done no research before buying their pet.
Lily’s Kitchen will focus on providing information on pet nutrition and how a balanced diet is key to a happy, healthy pet. PDSA will educate visitors about the five animal welfare needs and give children a “real-life pet surgery” experience.
Henrietta Morrison, founder and CEO of Lily’s Kitchen says: “Pets are a part of the family, yet when it comes to mealtimes we are woefully unaware of what goes into the food we are feeding them and what constitutes a healthy diet for our pets.
“What KidZania offers us is the opportunity to teach children and parents about the importance of a good diet for their cats and dogs in the most exciting and interactive environment.”
Nicola Martin, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare comments: “We know that for many owners they are not ‘just pets’, but treasured companions and a part of the family. However, our PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report shows that many owners don’t fully understand what their pets need for a healthy, happy life.
“This is leading to serious pet welfare issues such as obesity, loneliness and problem behaviour. Our partnership with Lily’s Kitchen and KidZania will allow us to educate the pet owners of tomorrow on the five animal welfare needs and promote the importance of preventive care for pets.”
Eddie Kemlsey, CEO KidZania UK adds: “We are thrilled to be launching this new veterinary activity for kids. So many of our young visitors have pets they love and we want to educate them on how best to care for them, but in a fun and engaging way.”
For more information go to www.lilyskitchen.co.uk.