A quarter of a million dogs are behaving badly; there has been an increase in dogs fighting – around 600,000 a week; there is a rising number of dogs being put down for behavioural problems; 250,000 dogs behave aggressively towards people each week and four million people have been attacked by dogs costing the NHS £3m a year, according to the charity PDSA.
And they put it all down to lazy owners who won’t take their pets for a walk.
There are 8.1 million dogs in Britain and 2.4 million are not exercised off the lead on a regular basis and 1/4 million are never taken for a walk.
Dogs that do get a walk are lucky if it’s for more than half an hour. Only 1 in 6 dogs is exercised properly.
9 out of 10 vets have been frightened by a dog’s behaviour and 8 out of 10 think dog licences should be re-introduced. 1 in 5 think it’s unacceptable to leave a child alone with a dog (and I won’t even mention the horror stories on that topic).
Dogs are also getting more overweight as owners feed them with inappropriate snacks such as cheese, crisps, chips and cake, because they beg for them
The charity says that 92% of dog-owners think we are a “nation of animal lovers” but we’re not. “The cocktail of boredom, lack of training and socialisation and worryingly low levels of regular exercise” was leading to destructive behaviours and anxiety.
Four out of five dog owners say they feel better physically and mentally because of their pet but many aren’t looking after them properly.
Over a lifetime a dog costs between £16 and £30,00; a cat £17,000, and a rabbit £9,000.
Of course in some countries these animals would be considered as food not pets!