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First ever study of its kind revealed today that at least ten million pets in Britain suffer mental and physical stress.
The study conducted by the charity PDSA and YouGov is the first to measure the wellbeing of nearly 22 million* pets in Britain.
Over 11,000 pet owners were interviewed and findings show that at least two million dogs are left alone daily for longer than is recommended with 1.9 million dogs being left alone for more than four hours at a stretch each day.
Meanwhile, around 15 per cent of owners believe it is acceptable to leave a dog for eight hours without attention, and four per cent of owners believing that dogs can be abandoned for more than ten hours without suffering.
The study has also shown that a shocking ten million pets could be suffering mental or physical stress because owners do not look after them properly.
When it comes to our pets nutrition it reveals that around 2.4million dogs are mainly fed on scraps or leftovers, instead of nutritionally balanced dog food and 750,000 rabbits are fed too little hay or grass.
Hanne Grice, dog expert and founder of Walk the Dog™ says: “We’ve seen a steady increase over recent years in the number of stress-related behavioral problems in pets. Often these problems are caused unwittingly by misunderstanding and mismanagement on the owners behalf. Pets don’t come with user manuals but fortunately, pet care and behaviour companies like ours, offer owners support and peace of mind as we can not only help inform but be there on a daily basis to give pets that all important love, care and attention when work pressures mean owners cannot be around.
The PDSA’s report shows that rabbits are also neglected. In the wild rabbits live in large groups, but 67 per cent of pet rabbits live on their own, which risks boredom and stress. Hanne continues: “Although we are a nation of animal lovers, this new report shows that a large number of our nation’s pets are lacking an environment that is rich in mental and physical stimulation, together with a well balanced diet. These are key factors pets need to have a happy and healthy life. Hopefully this report will raise awareness of what our pets really do need.”