PetWise Award FAQs

Thinking of helping children get PetWise but have a few more questions? We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about our school awards programme.

We want to help everyone get a little more PetWise and teaching children about how to properly treat and care for our furry friends will have a huge impact in the long-run. Our PetWise Award is designed to do just that, with curriculum-linked activities for pet-loving children.

If you’re ready to sign up, that’s great! Just follow the link below. If you still have a few more questions, we’ve tried to answer some of the most common ones we get.


How much does it cost?

Nothing – the award is completely free! If you would like to help raise money to support our life-saving work and thank us for the resources, you can do so at any time through our ‘Donate’ button on your dashboard and if you donate during the launch level, you’ll get 300 extra points. We appreciate any donations – big or small.

How does it work?

The award programme is made up of an initial launch day and three main levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. To pass each level you need to earn points through presentations, activities and worksheets. You need 1000 points to progress to the next level.

Each level has at least two PowerPoint presentations, a series of short activities such as Top Trumps games, welfare spinners, newspaper reports, big writes, diary entries and quizzes and a couple of social action activities.

What topics are covered?

Each stage covers different topics:


  • This level includes an assembly presentation and a history lesson as well as fun activities to introduce children to the topic and inform them about the award.


  • Get PetWise - This session provides an overview of what pets need to be healthy and happy. Based on the care of cats, dogs and rabbits, it teaches children how to be responsible pet owners. The follow up activities from these cover topics such as: animals in need of shelter, preventive health care, wants vs. needs, responsible pet ownership and how to stay happy and healthy.
  • In the Pet Hospital - This session brings the Pet Hospital to you. You’ll be taken on a journey through the hospital, following Cyril, one of our special patients, through his treatment programme. The follow up activities for this session include: fun games to learn more about careers with animals, diary of a poorly pooch, foreign body x-rays, role-play and the importance of keeping harmful objects out of a dog’s reach.


  • Canine Communication - This session identifies how to recognise what dogs are telling us through their body language and how to stay safe around dogs. The follow up activities from this cover topics such as: feelings and the history of domestication.
  • Animal Heroes - This session looks at the brave and heroic acts of animals from wartime to today through PDSA’s medal programme. The follow up activities for this session reinforce the learning from the session and encourage children to think about brave animals in their local communities.
  • Get Set for the Right Pet - This session covers the costs associated with owning popular pets with a Maths focus for children of appropriate ages and encourages children to make an informed decision when choosing a pet. The follow up activities for this session include: a tally chart to find out how many children own pets and which pets are most popular in your class or friendship group; case studies where the children have to decide which pets are most suited to certain families; and finding out the initial costs of getting a pet and which animals make the best pets.


  • Animal-based careers - This session identifies some of the different careers that involve working with animals. The follow up activities from this cover the topic of careers.
  • Stereotypes - This session encourages children to question their prejudices about both people and animals and addresses the way the media portrays certain breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The follow up activities for this session include: a persuasive newspaper article, research tasks, debates about the Dangerous Dog Legislation and matching activities to address prejudice.

How can I fit it in to our school curriculum?

All of our sessions and activities follow the current curriculum for your country (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) across a range of subjects such as Citizenship, English, Maths, Science and ICT.

The activities can be built in to your existing curriculum, for example we have an activity where pupils create a tally chart - this can be delivered as part of your own Maths planning or as part of a wider topic based on pets.

Will it be a lot of extra work?

No, our aim is to provide you with everything you’ll need to run each session. Our PowerPoint presentations have extensive notes so there is no need for additional preparation and our lesson plans outline each session in an easy to follow, step-by-step manner. The activities have activity worksheets, where possible, and the evidence you need to supply in order to pass is straightforward and simple to upload.

If you live in a region where we have a Community and Education Veterinary Nurse, their visit will still count towards your points.

How long will it take me to complete?

There is no set time to complete the award. It has been designed to take no longer than one school year but it depends on the way your school works. Schools that want to concentrate on a pet topic as part of their curriculum may even complete the award over one school term.

If you're homeschooling, it depends on how often it is taught - most home schools can complete the award over a couple of weeks and schools who dedicate time to the award each week, could be awarded within a term.

Who can take part?

The award is open to anyone who would like to support PDSA by taking part. There is no minimum or maximum number of children.

We find that the award is popular amongst Primary Schools, Home Schools, Uniform Groups and Special Schools but it is not exclusive to these groups.

The resources are aimed at key stages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11) but can be easily adapted. If you are unsure whether the resources will be suitable for your child(ren), we advise you still sign up to gain access to the free resources. You are under no obligation to complete the award once you've signed up.

What forms of evidence are accepted?

We review each piece of evidence individually, so we’re happy for you to provide evidence in any way you can. It can be as simple as a photograph taken on your phone of either the worksheet or your child(ren) completing the task or a word document telling us what you did and when.

I don’t have a printer at home, can my child still take part?

Absolutely! All of our activities can be viewed on a computer, tablet or phone and we’re happy for them to be completed on scraps of paper. As long as your child has access to a digital device and pen and paper, they can take part.

What happens once we’ve completed the award?

Once the gold level has been completed, your school or child will be awarded with our ‘PetWise’ status.

Schools will be sent a high res image of the logo to display on your school’s website and any correspondence to parents. You’ll also be sent a certificate and a glass plaque to display in the main foyer/reception area.

Home Schools and individuals will be sent an e-certificate upon completion and a complimentary lanyard and pin badge for every child who took part.

The award lasts two years and then you are required to do a short refresher as a top up – this wouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete and would last a further two years.

We signed up as a home school but my child is going back to school, can we still continue with the award?

Yes, of course! Your child can continue to work on the award at home, outside of school hours, as an individual. If their school chooses to take part in the award, they will be given a separate account.

Got more questions?

If you have any more questions, our team will be happy to help! Drop us an email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Ready to get PetWise?