School of Health in Social Science

Identifying optimal support for people and pets in Scotland

A recent research project that aimed to identify the challenges experienced by pet owners in Scotland

Welcome to our recent project - a collaborative study with the Scottish SPCA and Blue Cross, designed to understand the whole range of challenges that  pet owners experience. Our report is currently under review by the charities, who will assess the implications for developing new support services for people living in Scotland. 

Dr Janine Muldoon & Professor Jo Williams
Images of people with pets

The study

Our online survey 'Supporting People & Pets in Scotland' took place between Tuesday 18th May and Tuesday 22nd June 2021.

The aims of the study were to identify:

  • where support is most needed,

  • the extent and types of challenges experienced,

  • the impact of these challenges on owners and their families,

  • which support/services have been accessed and if they were helpful,

  • the type of support that pet owners feel would be most useful to them, and

  • issues involved when deciding to give up a pet.


This was the information sheet for participants. If you have any questions about the study, please contact Janine:


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We have discussed the findings with the charities, who will now consider how these might be used to improve the support and services that are available to pet owners in Scotland. A report will be shared here in due course.

Many thanks again to all those who took part in our survey.