- 85% of children have never heard about the five animal welfare needs*
- Only 26% of children have been taught how to care for pets at school*
- 79% of children visiting KidZania requested a vet activity in the city
An exciting new activity - where kids learn how to keep pets happy and healthy - has been unveiled at KidZania London, after 79% of children visiting requested a vet experience.
Launched as a partnership between the UK’s leading veterinary charity PDSA and leading pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen, the new Pet Wellbeing Centre opened to the public on 17 July.
Children visiting the activity will be able to take part in role-play situations where they learn about the five welfare needs of pets, including good nutrition. They can also examine real-life animal x-rays and even ‘perform surgery’ on a poorly pet!
The Pet Wellbeing Centre has been created to educate the next generation of pet owners about animal welfare in a fun and engaging way. The UK is a nation of pet lovers, but research from the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report has revealed that 85%* of children have never heard about the five animal welfare needs and just 26%* have been taught how to care for pets at school.
Nicola Martin, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare says “We know that for many owners they are not ‘just pets’, but treasured companions and a part of the family. However, our PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report shows that many owners don’t fully understand what their pets need for a healthy, happy life. This is leading to serious pet welfare issues such as obesity, loneliness and problem behaviour. Our partnership with Lily's Kitchen and KidZania will allow us to educate the pet owners of tomorrow on the five animal welfare needs and promote the importance of preventive care for pets.”
The activity joins a wide range of ‘careers’ at the ‘indoor city run by kids’ designed to both entertain and educate children. It will be run by KidZania’s education team – who have been specially trained by PDSA vets and experts from Lily’s Kitchen to teach visitors about the five welfare needs of pets, and how they can meet them.
In the UK 51%** of households own a pet. Yet worryingly, the PAW Report revealed that over 5.2 million cat, dog and rabbit owners (24%)*** did no research before buying their pet. Educating families about pet welfare is a key priority for PDSA and Lily’s Kitchen. And it seems children agree – with 70% believing that people should take a test before taking on a pet*.
UK pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen will focus on providing information on pet nutrition and how a balanced diet is key to a happy, healthy pet. PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, will educate visitors about the five animal welfare needs. Children can also enjoy a “real-life pet surgery” experience – inspiring the next generation of veterinary professionals.
Eddie Kemlsey, CEO KidZania says “We are thrilled to be launching this new veterinary activity for kids. So many of our young visitors have pets they love and we want to educate them on how best to care for them, but in a fun and engaging way.”
Henrietta Morrison, CEO and founder of Lily’s Kitchen says: “Pets are a part of the family, yet when it comes to mealtimes we are woefully unaware of what goes into the food we are feeding them and what constitutes a healthy diet for our pets. What KidZania offers us is the opportunity to teach children and parents about the importance of a good diet for their cats and dogs in the most exciting and interactive environment.”
To find out more about KidZania London visit www.kidzania.co.uk.