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Lockdown Pet Boom Sees Vets Overrun

Perfect-Pets Books explores the growing demand vets are facing for their services as pet ownership thrives during the pandemic. The share of households owning a pet in the United Kingdom has remained relatively stable between 2012-2019. However, pet ownership levels have peaked to an unprecedented high of 59 percent in 2020/21, due to the coronavirus pandemic and increased time spent at home.

New research by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association reveals that a staggering 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the covid-19 pandemic.


In its latest Pet Population Data survey, the PFMA said the big increase was driven by younger families, with two-thirds of new owners aged between 16-34.

Although 74% claimed their pet had helped their mental health through the pandemic, the study raised pet welfare concerns.

Figures obtained from Vets Now, the UK’s leading provider of emergency care for dogs, cats, and small animals, show that up to 45% of registered pet owners haven’t received their initial vaccination course or subsequent boosters.

This of course can have a devastating impact on vet practices who then become overrun with health issues among cats, dogs, and other pets. Before the pandemic vets were already experiencing a shortage of staff and were having difficulty keeping up with demand, but with Brexit and now Covid many vets are feeling the pressure.

Emma Billington, the founder of Dogs4Rescue said: “the situation has become ‘pretty dire’.

“It’s shocking, frightening- and it’s only going to get worse. We have rescue dogs who need the vets, and we used to be able to ring up and get in, but now it can be 10 days wait.”

Since the end of 2019, the UK’s dog population has risen by almost 50%, from 9.5 million dogs to 12.5 million according to a survey conducted by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association.

Cat ownership has also seen a sharp rise and it is estimated that there are now 12 million cats in UK homes and equally the same amount homeless. Cats are of course prolific breeders – one unneutered female cat can produce 18 kittens a year according to Cats Protection.


Many cats and dogs have been adopted or purchased during the pandemic as a way to keep owners company. This is a great thing because many of these animals need a home. However, many new owners forget that like a baby a puppy or kitten needs time, attention, and medical care.

If you have brought a new pet into your home and find the responsibility challenging remember that help is at hand. Owning a pet is a great experience but sometimes we need to learn how to give the best care possible.

Both cats and dogs need to be vaccinated in their first 8 to 10 weeks with follow-up boosters between 6 – 12 months. For their safety, it is also best to have them microchipped, neutered, or spayed. All of these actions will help keep your pet safe and take pressure off of Vets.

Perfect-Pets Books has a complete collection of the most popular dog and cat breeds available as Essential Guides that cover a variety of ‘essential things to know’ including: first aid basics, microchips, vaccinations, insurance, and appropriate breed care. In addition to breed books, useful Essential Guides for issues such as dog training, rescue dogs and first aid for dogs are great favourites full of valuable information.

Visit: www.perfect-pets.org for further information.


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