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03/03/2011 1.9 million dogs left alone too long

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A study by the PDSA has found that up to 48 per cent of animal owners do not provide their pets with the right amount of car required.

Standards set out in the Animal Welfare Act are not being met and according to experts on the matter, five million or so cats are being fed the wrong food along with four million dogs and 750,000 rabbits. Other areas of animal welfare included in the failings are lack of the proper veterinary care and animals being left alone for too long.

The PDSA’s report says that there are 1.9 million dogs left alone for long periods of time every day and that 2.4 million are fed the wrong type of food and are at risk of obesity.

According to the report, 3.3 million cats are not vaccinated and it was found that many owners were not providing their cats with litter trays, food bowls and bend.

Rabbits were found to not be eating the correct amount of hay or grass and were living in cramped hutches. The information was collected from more than 11,000 pet owners in the UK and questions were based on five areas of care - environment, diet, behaviour, companionship and health.

Harvey Locke, president of the British Veterinary Association, said "The report provides a new and innovative way of attempting to benchmark responsible pet ownership as well as creating a good template for ongoing data gathering.

"It is all too easy to take on a pet without accepting responsibilities for the care and welfare of that animal.”

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