A shocking new animal welfare report by leading veterinary charity PDSA has revealed millions of pets are more aggressive than ever, which could be owing to a lack of basic understanding of pets and their needs.
The Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW) report, conducted by the PDSA in conjunction with YouGov, unearthed a serious lack of understanding and provision of even basic levels of care for millions of the UK’s pets. This has resulted in a startling number of people reporting incidents where they have been bitten, attacked by dogs or know of such an incident occurring to people.
The report found almost one in three dog owners have been bitten or attacked by a dog with more than half, 51 per cent, knowing someone else who has. Aggressive behaviour was most common in Northern Ireland, with 24 per cent of those surveyed experiencing dog problems, followed by the East of England on 20 per cent and the North East and Yorkshire and Humber both on 19 per cent. Wales had the best survey figures, coming in at only eight per cent.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, Sean Wensley, says: “Each year there are awful stories of dogs attacking pets and people, sometimes with fatal consequences. Tackling this begins with owners and breeders taking full responsibility for their dogs’ behaviour and adequately socialising and training them from a young age.”
On a more positive note, the report also found that 95 per cent of pet owners do believe that dog owners must take full responsibility for their dog’s behaviour; key to this is educating owners on the importance of training and socialisation.