GPAW 2021 will cover the five welfare needs of the UK’s guinea pigs with a week-long digital festival of events
The organisers and partners of the inaugural Guinea Pig Awareness Week (GPAW) are excited to announce that a dedicated GPAW website has today gone live – https://www.burgesspetcare.com/gpaw. They are urging veterinary professionals to get behind the new campaign by accessing a wealth of free online resources to help them organise and promote their own digital events in support of this year’s GPAW campaign, taking place from 22-28 March 2021.
GPAW has been created by Burgess Pet Care alongside campaign Partners the RSPCA, Wood Green The Animals Charity, Blue Cross and the PDSA. As the organisers of Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW), the UK’s largest and most successful welfare campaign for rabbits, Burgess and the GPAW Partners are aiming to replicate RAW’s success, with the support of veterinary professionals, by educating and informing more guinea pig owners about their pets’ five welfare needs than ever before.
This year’s GPAW campaign will take place digitally as a virtual festival and will include educational videos, live streams, and Q&As from experts and veterinary professionals. The campaign content will be shared digitally across the official GPAW and GPAW partners’ social media channels to help educate guinea pig owners and improve standards of guinea pig care in the UK.
Holly Ackroyd, Senior Brand Manager for Burgess Pet Care, said: –
“It continues to be a challenging time, but we want to support veterinary professionals as much as possible, as vets and vet nurses continue to provide essential care and support the wellbeing of the nation’s guinea pigs.
“The veterinary community has always been hugely supportive of RAW and we’re confident that we’ll see the same fantastic response for the first GPAW campaign. The information within our digital GPAW vet packs, which are available on our dedicated GPAW website, will provide practices with lots of ideas and advice on how to host their own digital events and engage with guinea pig owners in their region. It’s a fantastic opportunity for vets to get involved, raise the profile of their practices, showcase their guinea pig expertise and to actively engage with their clients, communities and fellow practitioners online.
“We are really looking forward to celebrating the efforts of vet practices across the UK for the first ever GPAW campaign,” Holly added.
Dr Suzanne Moyes MVB MRCVS, Veterinary Director at Burgess Pet Care said: –
“Like rabbits, guinea pigs have very specific welfare needs and dietary requirements: their diet should be rich in hay.”
“To help us understand how best we can support these wonderful little creatures, and to inform our campaign programme, we recently ran our own online surveys with guinea pig owners and vets. We found that 94% of vets and vet nurses felt that the most common mistake owners of small animals make is feeding them the wrong diet. 90% of vets and vet nurses also believe that guinea pig muesli should be removed from sale, whilst 28% of owners who include muesli in their guinea pigs’ diet believe it to be the healthiest option.
“We would urge vet practices to get involved in GPAW so that together we can engage, inform and educate guinea pig owners about their pets’ specific welfare needs and improve the lives of these gorgeous pets,” Suzanne added.