Free dog ‘MOTs’ for the Highlands

Highland dog owners are invited to bring their pooches along for a free wellbeing check at PDSA’s PetCheck vehicle between Tuesday 3 to Friday 13 September. 

In partnership with The Highland Council, the veterinary charity’s annual UK-wide PetCheck tour will be at the following locations from 9am to 4pm.

• Tue 3 & Wed 4 Sep – Riverside Road lorry park, Thurso

• Thurs 5 & Fri 6 Sep – Riverside car park, St Fergus Road, Wick

• Sat 7 Sep – Tain Links car park, Tain

• Sun 9 Sep – 18-15 Westford (car park), Alness

• Mon 9 Sep – Tesco Superstore, Mart Road, Dingwall

• Tue 10 Sep – Balloan Road car park (near playing fields), Inverness

• Wed 11 Sep – Pavillion car park, Keppoch Road, Inverness

• Thurs 12 & Fri 13 Sep – An Aird car park, Fort William

On-board, a PDSA Vet Nurse will examine the weight, body-shape, teeth, eyes, coat and general fitness of canine visitors, and will also offer free expert advice about how to care for other pets.  Microchipping and nail clipping will be available at a low cost. For safety reasons only dogs can be brought along to the PetCheck vehicle.

Love is not enough
PDSA’s PetCheck Tour is travelling the length and breadth of the country in response to PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, which found that over 10 million pets are missing out on key health and welfare requirements.  In the vast majority of cases this isn’t deliberate – owners love their pets but just don’t always understand what they need to be healthy and happy, resulting in pets suffering unnecessarily.

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley, said: “These figures highlight the importance of our PetCheck tour in helping owners to have a deeper understanding of their pet’s health and welfare needs and how to meet them. Owners generally want the best for their pets, and by providing advice and support to owners PDSA aims to help owners to ensure their pets have happy, healthy lives.”

Scotland findings:

Two of the key issues identified in the PAW Report were pet obesity and problem behaviour. Around one-in-six owners in Scotland (16%) reported that their dog regularly showed problem behaviour towards people and other animals, including growling, snarling, snapping and aggression.  And worryingly, nearly a third of owners (31%) in the region have been bitten or attacked by a dog.

Contributing to this behaviour meltdown is the fact that 56% dogs in Scotland never attended training classes in the first six months, which means that over half are missing out on vital behaviour and socialisation experiences while young. This can lead to behavioural problems, such as aggression, in later life.

When it comes to diet, Scotland doesn’t fare much better with 67% of owners admitting to feeding inappropriate treats such as cakes, crisps, cheese and takeaways to their pets, often on a daily basis. This is fuelling the pet obesity epidemic and can lead to potentially fatal illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

Please note that dogs must be kept on leads at all times, and owners should never leave pets locked in cars. 

About PDSA PetCheck:

Alongside the charity’s 50 PetAid hospitals and nearly 380 PetAid practices, the two custom-designed PDSA PetCheck vehicles tour the country from March to October every year, kindly sponsored by Julie and Robert Breckman.

Since the PetCheck programme first launched in 2002, PDSA has welcomed over 350,000 visitors to its PetCheck events, carried out health checks on more than 52,000 doggy visitors and answered around 17,000 general pet care enquiries.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity and was founded in 1917 by Maria Dickin CBE. The charity’s PetCheck scheme continues PDSA’s long-held tradition of travelling the country to reach as many pets as possible.  In 1921, the charity’s first ‘PetCheck vehicle’ was created by converting on old caravan into a horse-drawn mobile clinic, which travelled Britain with an on-board vet to treat animals in need.  By 1935 PDSA had 11 motor caravan clinics travelling the country. 

PDSA receives no government or national lottery funding and relies entirely on public support to fund its vital charitable veterinary services.  To find out more about PDSA, the PetCheck tour, or ways to support the charity, visit


23 Aug 2013