Nearly half of UK dog owners believe the lockdowns and other events of the last year has had an impact on their pets, with over a quarter reporting their dogs have become more anxious during this time, according to a survey by Purina Petcare.
The survey of 1,005 UK dog owners, carried out by Opinion Matters during October 2021, found that 49% of owners believed the last year has had an impact on their pets, with 28% reporting that their dogs have become more anxious.
Purina’s survey also found that 36% of dog owners are concerned about their pet’s health and wellbeing as a result of new challenges but, when asked what positive steps they intend to take to improve their pet’s happiness and wellbeing, just 20% said they would reassess diet.
Following the survey, Purina PetCare is aiming to raise awareness among dog owners about the link between their pet’s gut health and their brain and, therefore, their behaviour. The company is urging owners to ensure they are feeding a good, complete and nutritionally balanced diet to maintain a healthy gut environment for their dogs, in turn helping them maintain their mental wellbeing as well as their physical health..
Dr Libby Sheridan, Vet and Scientific Affairs Manager for Purina in the UK & Ireland, explains: “More and more evidence is suggesting that gut microbes help the brain develop and function normally. We’re discovering that these tiny micro-organisms are actually very important for helping the gut communicate with the brain, and they can have real effects on behaviour.”
“With more people owning pets than ever, it’s a perfect time for us to help owners understand the link between tummies, brains and, therefore, behaviour.”