DOG owners will be able to get free health checks for their pets in Bournemouth next week aboard an 18-tonne state-of-the-art vet truck.

The PDSA's new £250,000 PetWise mobile unit is coming to the area on Wednesday as part of a national tour.

Pet owners will be able to take advantage of the service in Boscombe precinct between 10am and 4pm.

A team from Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital will be carrying out free dog wellbeing checks, nail clipping and ear cleaning, as well as offering general pet health advice to the public.

The truck is on the road as part of the PDSA’s PetWise Tour and is being used to provide expert advice and free dog MOTs across the UK, along with PDSA’s two smaller mobile vehicles in the fleet.

The PDSA’s PetWise ‘MOT’ checks look at the five basic criteria to ensure pets lead happy and healthy lives. These are diet, environment, companionship, behaviour and health.

A traffic light system gives each area a score and owners receive a personalised action plan explaining how to improve their pet’s wellbeing.

PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: “People in Bournemouth are very lucky as this is one of the first places in the UK to benefit from our new PetWise vehicle offering state-of-the-art facilities, so we can help pets and their owners.

“Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we can bring some of our hospital services in to the community, offer free, friendly advice, chat through hospital services eligibility, and support owners to make small changes that often make big differences to the wellbeing of their pets.”

The PDSA said it is on a mission to improve the life of all pets through preventive care, education and emergency treatment.

Last year nearly 3,000 PetWise MOTs were carried out and the PDSA saw an eight per cent increase in dogs that were neutered after PDSA’s first visit, which has important health benefits as well as preventing unwanted litters.

According to the PDSA, one-in-three dogs who visited their outreach events showed signs of behavioural problems.

Fifty five per cent of dogs seen during last year’s tour were not wearing an ID on their collar or tag, despite it being a legal requirement.

The charity’s annual PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report found that while 74 per cent of owners feel informed about all of the 5 Welfare Needs, only around one in eight people surveyed could correctly identify all five from a list.