Worryingly, nearly a quarter (24%) of owners were not given any advice on any aspect of health or welfare when they got their pet. Many people appear to have no idea about the costs and long-term commitments involved when taking on a pet but all owners are responsible for the duty of care to any of their pets.
Sadly pet obesity is now one of the major issues affecting pet health in the UK. It's often unrecognised by pet owners, who may not notice gradual weight gain, or may simply regard a chubby pet as cuddly and well-fed. Yet, as with us humans, obesity is linked to serious problems such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and a shorter life expectancy.
The PDSA Dickin Medal contains the words 'We also serve' and these emotional words always remind me that these animals have performed supreme acts of gallantry to protect lives. This latest recipient is Theo, a British Arms and Explosives Search Dog who died just hours after his handler was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
When PDSA approached me to work with them, I knew that becoming an Ambassador would be the perfect role for me. I love our Jack Russell, Daisy, to bits so I completely understand how much people's pets mean to them - we British often treat them like our children!
Our four-legged friends have become as much a part of the family as any human member, so it's understandable that we like to include them in the festivities. Many owners even admit feeding them a Christmas dinner. So what harm can it do? Well as it turns out, quite a lot. By giving into the desire to treat our pets with human food, we may well be putting their lives in danger. This may all sound a bit 'Bah humbug' but several ingredients in our annual turkey-stuffing ritual can actually do serious damage to pets.