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 but there was no accompanying Government surveillance. When the PAW Report launched in 2011, it became the first overarching means of identifying, assessing and monitoring the wellbeing of 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 appropriately met. In 2022 we have the opportunity to assess how the lifestyles changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis have affected our pets.
With data from February 2020, just before the UK entered the first of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and with further data collection through the pandemic, we have been able to provide an unrivalled source of information about the changes in the welfare of our pets during this time. In 2022, we continue to track the effects of the last 2 years, and assess the impact of developing issues such as the growing cost of living crisis.
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, as well as compare our findings against trends and data from the last 12 years.
Looking at each of the 5 Welfare Needs, alongside pet populations and acquisition behaviours, the 2022 PAW Report examines how the changing face of pet ownership in the UK is affecting the ways our pets are cared for.
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 identify key issues and work with others in the sector to 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.
Please get in touch if we can help with anything specific.
The PAW Report’s 12 years of monitoring and tracking trends in pet welfare in the UK has 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 continues to show 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 2022 PAW Report
The findings from the 12th PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report were discussed by a panel of expert speakers, including Sean Wensley (PDSA), Richard Saunders (RWAF), Justine Shotton (BVA), Samantha Gaines (RSPCA), Sarah Heath (Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine) and Alex German (University of Liverpool).
The PAW Report 2022 – How healthy and happy are our post-pandemic pets?
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report webinar is back for 2022. This year, a panel of expert speakers will discuss the findings and take live questions from the audience to explore what the implications are for pet wellbeing in the UK today, providing insight into:
- The key welfare challenges facing UK pets today
- The changing demographics of pet ownership
- How changes in pet acquisition could affect the wellbeing of dogs, cats and rabbits
- The behavioural issues affecting UK dogs and cats in 2022
- The problems facing rabbit welfare
The Report will be available to view from 30th June at https://www.pdsa.org.uk/paw2022
Join us for this free webinar with a live Q&A giving you the opportunity to ask your questions about the findings to our expert panel.
Chaired by Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Vet (Communication & Education), the panel features keynote speakers from across the profession:
- Sam Gaines Head of Companion Animals at RSPCA
- Richard Saunders Veterinary Specialist Advisor, RWAF
- Alex German Royal Canin Professor of Small Animal Medicine, University of Liverpool
- Sarah Heath RCVS and EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine
- Justine Shotton President of the British Veterinary Association
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!