PDSA PAW Report 2024


For the last 14 years, working with one of the UK’s leading research companies, YouGov, PDSA has collected data annually through a nationally representative survey of dog, cat and rabbit owners. The findings help us to understand how UK owners care for their pets, alongside accurately estimating pet population numbers.

14 years of data gives us unrivalled insight into the impacts of national events such as the cost of living crisis, welfare initiatives and legislative change. Since the first PAW Report in 2011, we have tracked the changing trends of how well owners provide for their pets’ 5 Welfare Needs benchmarked against the UK Animal Welfare Acts.

In 2024, we continue to see the impact of the current high cost of living, as well as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lifestyle changes. Alongside these, 2024 sees the introduction of legislation which has the potential to impact animal welfare, including the addition of XL Bully types to the list of banned dogs in the UK, and compulsory microchipping for cats. The consistent methodology of the PAW Report since its inception means we are able to accurately report on how all these changes affect the UK’s pets and pet owners, as well as provide evidence to inform upcoming legislative change, such as the Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill.

This year, the Report gives us valuable additional information on pre-purchase behaviours by pet owners, a key step in ensuring the welfare of their future pets. We also look at cat behaviour and stress, and how this is influenced by their living arrangements and environmental resources. There are some worrying findings around the use of aversive training aids in dogs, and poor welfare of many of the UK’s pet rabbits remains a concern.

The findings contained in this Report give us a deeper understanding of how the UK’s pets are cared for and how we can all continue to support owners to provide the best life for the animals in their care. It remains the benchmark for gaining insight into how UK owners provide for the needs of their pets.

You can read the full report here.