The PAW Report
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report is the UK's largest annual assessment of pet wellbeing.
In 2006, the Animal Welfare Acts introduced a 'duty of care' for all pet owners to meet their pet's 5 Welfare Needs. When the PAW Report launched in 2011, it became the first overarching means of identifying, assessing and monitoring the wellbeing on companion animals and how well their Welfare Needs are being met.
Each year PDSA works with leading market research company, YouGov, to survey nationally representative samples of pet dog, cat and rabbit owners, providing insight into animal welfare issues, estimating pet population numbers, and understanding how people care for their pets. In addition, we periodically survey veterinary professionals to gather their thoughts and opinions about key welfare issues.
Over the years, our vital research has found that millions of UK pets are not having these needs met. In 2021 we have the unique opportunity to assess how the first 14 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected our pets.
The events of the past 18 months, through the initial course of the COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted in wide-ranging changes to the way we live, work and play. The Report methodology provides a robust, reputable and validated surveillance model through which we are able to monitor the potential impacts of the changes pets and owners have experienced throughout this time, as well as compare our findings against trends and data from the last 10 years.
The 2021 PAW Report concentrates on five key areas that the 2020 Report suggested would be particularly impacted by the pandemic: pet population, acquisition, behaviour, obesity and preventive healthcare.
Our findings provide us with evidence-based results, allowing us to look for emerging trends and early indicators of welfare issues for pets that may have developed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. They will allow us to continue to monitor and safeguard the wellbeing of the nation's pets as well as helping us drive positive change for pet welfare across the UK.
Why does PDSA produce the PAW Report?
The purpose of the PAW Report is to provide an in-depth analysis of current welfare issues and overall pet wellbeing in the UK. This provides an evidence-base, and impact measure, for any activities or initiatives which tackle these issues, both for us and for those we work with from the veterinary profession and across the animal welfare sector, to local, devolved and central Government.
The PAW Report’s 11 years of monitoring and tracking trends in pet welfare in the UK has now been peer-reviewed and published in the Vet Record. ‘Driving evidence‐based improvements for the UK's ‘Stressed. Lonely. Overweight. Bored. Aggressive. Misunderstood…but loved’ companion animals’ (Wensley et al, 2021) is available via open access.
A nation of animal lovers
Many problems seen by animal welfare organisations across the UK are entirely preventable. Despite being a nation of animal lovers, who love their pets and treat them as valued family members, the PAW Report shows that many owners misunderstand their pet’s welfare needs which can impact on their long term health and wellbeing.
Working with pet owners, the veterinary profession and fellow animal welfare organisations, together we can make a better life for all our pets.
The online launch for the 2021 PAW Report
Paw 2021: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected pet wellbeing in the UK?
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report webinar is back for 2021, featuring a panel of expert speakers discussing impacts of the pandemic on the UK’s pets.
The PAW Report is the UK’s largest and most comprehensive annual assessment of pet wellbeing. Join our expert panel for a free webinar as they review and discuss trends and findings, with a focus on obesity, preventive healthcare, pet behaviour and pre-acquisition preparation, as well as highlighting potential impacts of the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and actions needed from across the veterinary professions and animal welfare sector to drive positive change.
Following this will be a live Q&A giving you the opportunity to ask your questions to our expert panel.
Chaired by Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Vet (Communication & Education), the panel features keynote speakers from across the profession:
- Richard Hooker, PDSA Director of Veterinary Services
- Daniella Dos Santos, BVA Senior Vice President
- Jo Oakden, BVNA President
- Chris Laurence, Chair of the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG)
- Alex German, Professor of Small Animal Medicine, University of Liverpool
- Kevin McPeake, Lecturer in Clinical Animal Behaviour, University of Edinburgh.
Download our past reports
Interested in our previous PAW reports & summaries? You can find them all here.
UK populations of pets
Have you ever wondered how many pets there are in the UK? We have the answer!