Sunderland pet owners offered free dog MOTs to help keep pooches healthy

Dog owners in Sunderland are being offered free health MOTs for their pets.

Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 4:15 am
PDSA Nurse Tina Scrafton with visitor Mitsy

Vet charity PDSA as part of its campaign to give every pet have a happy and healthy life.

A PDSA vet nurse will be on board one of the charity’s PetCheck vehicles at the Washington Millennium Centre on Tuesday September 4 and Wednesday September 5 from 10am to 5pm. Appointments should be booked in advance by calling 01952 797306.

PDSA nurses with the PetCheck vehicle

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PDSA Vet Nurse Tina Scrafton will deliver PDSA’s specially developed the PetWise MOT for every dog, which assesses the five elements pets need to be healthy and happy, known as the welfare needs.

Tina said these are diet, environment, companionship, behaviour and health. A simple traffic light system gives each pet a score, and a personalised action plan to help owners improve their pet’s wellbeing.

PDSA Vet Nurse Tina said: “We would love to catch up on the progress of all the dogs we saw on our last visit, and meet any that didn’t manage to get to us.

"We expect to be busy, so we advise pet owners to call and make an appointment. By offering free, friendly advice and support, we can help owners make small changes that often make big differences to the wellbeing of pets in Sunderland.”

Additional services including nail clipping, ear cleaning and microchipping (which is now a legal requirement for all dogs) are also available free of charge, although donations are welcome. Cats Protection neutering vouchers are also available.

This year’s PetWise tour is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and is travelling across the UK providing free health checks and offering expert pet care advice.

More information on PDSA’s PetCheck tour is available on its website at

The PDSA said it is on a mission to improve the life of all pets through preventive care, emergency treatment and education.

Last year nearly the charity carried out 3,000 PetWise MOTs, which it says resulted in improvements to dogs’ health and welfare including an eight per cent increase in dogs that were neutered after PDSA’s first visit, which the charity said has important health benefits as well as preventing unwanted litters.

However, there is still room for improvement, as a third of dogs (33%) who visited showed signs of behavioural problems.

Many owners are also unclear on their responsibilities as a pet owner, as over half dogs seen during last year’s tour (55%) were not wearing an ID tag, despite it being a legal requirement.

The PDSA’s PetCheck vehicles

PDSA’s two custom-designed PetCheck vehicles have been kindly donated to the charity by benefactors Julie and Robert Breckman.

The vehicles are named after Robert and his late wife Julie, whose love of animals and support of PDSA has helped the PetCheck tour to continue its vital work, helping to improve the lives of thousands of pets.