Pet welfare charity, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) has warned that the drop in pet vaccinations is a “ticking time bomb”, with over 7 million pets at risk of developing diseases.
The 2019 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, found the number of pets receiving their primary vaccinations when young, which protect pets from deadly diseases and viruses, has dropped from 84% in 2016 to 66% in 2019.
Of those pet owners who hadn’t vaccinated their pet, 17% said that they deemed it “too expensive”, an additional 17% said their pet didn’t come into contact with other animals. Other explanations included 16% who felt it was ‘unnecessary’, while other pet owners (13%) said that their “pet found going to the vets very stressful”.
The report also found that one third (32%) of pets aren’t receiving regular booster vaccines, which keeps them protected from potentially fatal diseases.
PDSA Senior Vet, Sean Wensley, said: “It’s extremely worrying to see such a decline in the number of young pets receiving their primary vaccinations.
“Vaccinations have helped to protect millions of pets from serious diseases such as parvovirus, cat flu and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. If people don’t vaccinate we risk seeing a rise in extremely unpleasant, preventable, diseases that can cause considerable animal suffering and death.”
The PAW Report has monitored pet welfare issues across the UK for the last nine years, surveying over 73,500 people in its time. Produced in conjunction with YouGov, the report provides an insight into the lives of pet dogs, cats and rabbits across the UK.