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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Pet Month

By David Alderton

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April marks the start of the UK’s National Pet Month, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. It’s an event that has grown significantly from the days when it began as National Pet Week, back in 1989. The UK is now home to more than 70 million pets, and although the numbers of dogs and cats have not grown dramatically during this period, there has been a huge increase in the population of exotic pets, such as snakes and spiders.

National Pet Month is registered as a charity and is a unique event, bringing together bodies such as the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), the Pet Care Trust (PCT) and the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) with businesses, veterinarians, professional bodies and other animal welfare charities, schools, youth groups and individual pet lovers.

The aim is to spread the word about responsible pet ownership, both locally and nationally, to make people aware of the benefits of pets, and to raise awareness of the role and contribution that working companion animals make to society. Last year, there were more than 450 different events held nationwide, and the aim is to beat this total in 2010, creating a new record.

There are hosts of different activities planned, including various art and photographic competitions, advice on choosing and caring for pets, free pet health checks and sponsored runs. Just as significantly, perhaps, the event raises a significant sum for animal welfare charities, particularly the smaller ones that often struggle to obtain sufficient funds for their work. Last year, more than 13 charities benefited, with more than $20,000 being raised nationwide. The organizers also estimate that, based on the media coverage of National Pet Month last year, some 45 million people were potentially made aware of the event.

Considerable emphasis is placed on children and pets, highlighting how ensuring that when children grow up in an environment where they can have contact with pet animals of various types, it can have a lasting positive impact on their lives. Click here for background to the event and further information.

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