PETS on Wearside may not be as healthy and happy as they could be, according to a new report.
Research by veterinary charity the PDSA has measured the wellbeing of the most popular household pets.
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report, the largest survey of its kind, assesses the physical and mental health of the UK’s most popular domestic animals, such as dogs, cats and rabbits.
It identified that a high proportion of animal lovers in the North East, 90 per cent, believe owners should have at least a basic understanding of a pet’s welfare needs.
But the report reveals that just 48 per cent are aware of the Animal Welfare Act, which contains essential guidance owners need to ensure their pets live a healthy and happy life.
And only 45 per cent, it is claimed, have done any research into their pet’s wellbeing or received advice on the subject.
Ian McClive, senior vet at Sunderland PetAid Hospital, said: “Our report reveals that there is much work to do to raise awareness in all regions of the UK about what pets need to live a healthy life.
“Only by doing this, can there be a positive impact on the standard of wellbeing for animals, both in Sunderland and right across the country.”
Key findings from the report also conclude that issues including stress, boredom, loneliness, obesity and aggression are key areas Wearside owners need to address when it comes to their pets’ overall wellbeing.
Mr McClive added: “Our report has enabled us to find out how pets are living today and identify areas of concern, so that we can support owners who want to do the best for their pets.”