77% of owners believe their pet’s health is as or more important than their own

  • 16% of owners claim to visit their pet’s vet more than their own doctor
  • New research marks launch of revamped Pet Health Info website and second year of NOAH’s ‘I Heart My Pet’ campaign

A study of over 2,000 UK pet owners for the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has revealed that more than three quarters (77%) believe their pet’s health is as important as or more important than their own. 16% claim to visit their vet more than their own doctor according to the research, suggesting that owners are taking on board messages to seek expert healthcare advice for their pets.

The study marks the launch of NOAH’s newly revamped www.pethealthinfo.org.uk website and the second year of its ‘I Heart My Pet’ campaign. The campaign is designed to encourage owners to seek expert preventative healthcare advice for their animals and was created in response to NOAH figures which show that despite our love for our pets, many owners neglect to take preventative healthcare measures such as vaccination and worming. The latest research also reveals who owners turn to as the most trusted sources of advice on pet healthcare, with vets topping the list (86%), followed by other pet and animal experts (53%), with independent pet healthcare websites in third place (47%).

When it comes how owners choose a veterinary practice for their pet, the study identified three top priorities:

  • Expertise of the practice staff (69%)
  • Convenience of the practice location (67%)
  • Cleanliness and modern facilities of the practice (38%)

The research also examines the welfare factors that owners consider are most important to provide to their animals, citing a safe environment in which to live and sleep (80%), access to nutritious food and water (76%) and access to expert healthcare (42%) as the top priorities.

NOAH Chief Executive, Philip Sketchley comments:

“Once again we’re encouraged by how seriously British pet owners take the healthcare needs of their animals and the love they clearly have for their pets. As we move into the second year of our ‘I Heart My Pet’ campaign, we’re calling on all pet owners in the UK to share this love by getting involved with the campaign and visiting our revamped www.pethealthinfo.org.uk site for independent, expert advice to keep their pets happy and healthy all year round. We’re encouraging veterinary and pet professionals to get involved and join the conversation on the site as well as through our social media communities on Twitter (@IHeartMyPet) and Facebook (IHeartMyPetUK).

“The website continues to include a wealth of completely unbranded information on animal healthcare as well as exciting resources for owners, but is now in a fresh new format — much more interactive and designed for use with mobile devices. We still encourage vet practices and pet businesses to link to the site, and to recommend it to support their own advice and information”, he added. “In addition, we can offer veterinary and pet professionals materials such as campaign window stickers to help engage their audiences.”

ENDS

* All stats, unless otherwise stated, taken from research carried out on behalf of NOAH by Atomik Research among 2,012 pet owners over the age of 18 living in the UK between 31st October and 4th November 2013

Notes for Editors

  1. Follow the campaign on Twitter at @IheartmypetUK and on Facebook at [IHeartMyPetUK] Visit the website at: www.pethealthinfo.org.uk

  2. For further information or an interview, please contact Courtney Walker or Sara Neame: T +44 (0) 1235 834277 E courtney.walker@loudgroup.com or sara.neame@loudgroup.com

  3. About NOAH:

    NOAH’s Pet Health Information (PHI) www.pethealthinfo.org.uk website gives easy access, immediate, independent advice and was written by veterinary experts. It carries no advertisements and makes no mention of product brands, aims to give sound advice but also promotes the value of expert advice — it encourages owners to go and talk to an expert such as their veterinary surgeon or a pet care specialist.

    NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry: its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. NOAH is a trustee of National Pet Month, an educational charity. More details on www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk.

  4. The Pet Health Information website was developed by 9xb.com, a Yorkshire digital agency specialising in ecommerce, digital marketing, complex website development and mobile sites.