People Urged To Research Before Getting A Pet

27 September 2018, 16:38 | Updated: 27 September 2018, 16:44

Abbots Pets

A quarter of people in the East of England don't do any research before they become pet owners.

That's according to research from the vet charity PDSA - who say millions of animals are suffering as a result.

They reckon the social media hype around cute memes and pictures is playing it's part.

"Owners undoubtedly love their pets and want to do the best by them. However, failure to do the right research beforehand means that owners aren't fully equipped to do that. The results of our PAW Report reveal problems with lonely, overweight and stressed pets across the UK", says PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan.

"Unfortunately, it seems that some owners are also taking on pets off the back of trends; maybe they've seen a certain type of pet in a film or on social media, and whilst this is done with all good intentions, it's worrying if it's done without any research or consideration of an animal's health and happiness.

A prime example of this is the trend for flat-faced dogs such as Pugs or French Bulldogs - tragically many take them on not realising the serious health conditions that they can suffer from due to the shape of their faces.

"Most of us wouldn't dream of buying a new car or booking a holiday without researching all of the options and the costs involved," Olivia said, "but too often, little thought is going into the time, commitment and money involved in raising a happy and healthy pet throughout their lifetime."

Nicola Cottam from Hatfield Heath has kept exotic pets for years and says it's easy to prepare if you know how. She told Heart "You can get a lot of information now online and also you're local breeders, the shops where you'd actually buy them from, can be a mine of information. They're usually very expert."