It’s time for NHS health checks for middle aged dogs
Friday 26th May 2023 - by Darren Beale
At Years.com we are committed to making sure our beloved pet dogs are with us for as long as possible - that means ensuring they live their maximum lifespan. Diet and exercise are, of course, key to helping our companion animals stay healthy and lead a long life.
But diet and exercise are only part of the answer. We have to make sure that dogs stay healthy by doing our absolute best for them when it comes to health care.
That’s why Years.com is calling for compulsory NHS style annual health checks for dogs when they reach middle age.
Why are dogs not treated equally when they have to be?
Humans are offered health checks on the NHS when they reach the age of 50 and we believe dogs deserve the same level of health care when they hit seven.
After all, to millions of us dogs are so much more than just pets, they are beloved family members - and there are an estimated 11m of them in the UK.
But unlike humans, dogs aren’t able to tell their family members when they feel unwell and even the most attentive owners can miss the signs of sickness and disease until it’s reached an advanced stage.
It's time for us to give back
Dogs make our lives better and have been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing amongst their owners by countless independent studies.
We believe dogs already save the NHS millions every year by giving their owners a reason for regular exercise and making their lives happier and more joyful.
That’s why we think dogs are worth investing in. So we are calling on the UK’s major political parties to show they care by adopting this policy proposal into their manifestos for the next general election.
The health checks would be carried out by a local vet who will be looking to spot the early signs of illness or disease.
Why do we need to take action NOW
With 11m dogs in the UK we estimate that around 4m are aged seven and above. A veterinary health check costs an average of £50. So we believe the total cost a future Government would need to dedicate to this initiative would be £200m a year.
Some of this cost could be recouped from vets, with over half of all vets in the UK now being owned by six companies, who many complain charge too much for basic services.
By intervening early we believe we could extend the lives of millions of dogs across the land. After all, Britain has long been a nation of dog lovers.
This policy would be a massive vote winner for any political party brave enough to adopt it. Almost three in ten UK adults (29%) own a pet dog - that’s a lot of votes.
Now is the time for our politicians to prove they care by legislating on behalf of Britain’s 11 million dogs.
Politicians should not underestimate how much us Britons love our dogs. For millions of us they are like children and we would do anything for them.
That’s why we think this policy has the power to be a real vote winner at the polling booths when the next general election comes round.
It would be no exaggeration to say this could decide the outcome of the election. Whichever party leader is brave enough to show they truly care about dogs could find themselves being handed the keys to Number 10.
If you support our campaign for NHS style health checks for middle aged dogs, and want to get involved please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org