Just 30% of pet owners ask their vet for help in managing their pet’s stress
A survey of nearly 2000 dog owners carried out by natural supplement company Lintbells identified that just 17% would definitely ask their vet for help if their dog was stressed and only 13% have actually tried this route already. A similar percentage (18%) said they would definitely ask an animal behaviourist for help and just 15% have tried this already. However, 23% said they would definitely try using a natural or herbal supplement.
Lintbells Veterinary Director James Howie says in the lead up to firework season, practices should think about what can be done to get the message out about how vets and vet nurses can help pet owners, “Worryingly, 26% or our survey respondents said they would not seek help from a vet and 18% would not visit an animal behaviourist. Firework season provides huge scope for animal professionals to educate pet owners and demonstrate how they can help and could provide a gateway to encourage more pet owners to present their pets who suffer from fearfulness and anxiety.”
After moving house and arrival of a new household member, firework noise was identified as one of the main triggers – with 48% of respondents claiming most dogs would be stressed by this and another 9% claiming their own dog is upset by fireworks but think this doesn’t apply to most dogs.
Ninety four percent of respondents said they were confident they could recognise the signs of anxiety and stress in their dogs, so this isn’t a problem that pet owners are failing to identify. It is, however, a significant issue as 4% admitted they had considered rehoming their pet due to its behaviour.
As well as trying supplements, pet owners also said they would try training aids or other treatments in preference to visiting a vet and stocking these types of product could provide an entry point. The value of the multimodal approach to behaviour is well recognised and James Howie notes that many owners will struggle to solve their problems alone without professional support.
The most popular solution for pet owners whose dogs were stressed was to avoid the stressful event or situation (42% would definitely try this). Another 39% would definitely turn to ‘Dr Google’. A dog trainer was a popular solution with 28% definitely trying this and 22% claiming they already had tried this.
James Howie says that many pet owners make the mistake of thinking these problems will simply disappear over time, “Noise phobias don’t usually get better with time – in fact in most cases the fearful reaction will become worse year on year. It’s by using appropriate techniques like desensitisation and counter conditioning that long term improvements will result. Using supplements like YuCALM Dog can help keep dogs relaxed enough to accept these techniques without feeling too anxious and we are trying to get the message across that it’s vital to involve the experts.”
Lintbells new natural calming product YuCALM Dog contains natural ingredients such as L-Theanine, Lemon Balm and specific fish protein hydrolysates. YuCALM Dog is an effective way to help reduce stress and support dogs to become happier and more playful. For further information and support materials visit www.lintbellsvet.com.
Lintbells National Dog Happiness Survey was conducted online in September 2016 and 1956 dog owners took part.