Nearly three quarters of UK dog owners have reported their pets are suffering from separation anxiety as the lockdown eases and people return to workplaces.
A survey by pet product retailer and online community Lovimals carried out by YouGov found that 73% of UK dog owners said that their dog has experienced separation anxiety.
The survey also showed that 11% of UK dog owners with a dog who experiences separation anxiety have turned to giving their pup supplements or medication to help manage the problem, with 17% of these spending over £100 on treatment for their dog’s anxiety – 4% on prescribed medication and 7% on anti-anxiety supplements.
The issue has also impacted on the wellbeing of dog owners, with almost all those surveyed with a dog who experiences separation anxiety (94%) saying that it affects their life to some extent. In doing so, 60% of these say they feel guilty when they leave their dog alone, and 22% admitting to not leaving the house as much as they’d like to as a result.
Olly Johnson, managing director of commerce at brand owner Jungle Creations, said: “The rise in dog ownership through the pandemic is well documented, but we must remember that for many dogs having their owners around constantly will be all they’ve ever known. Being left alone all day or in the evening will be a real shock to the system so it is no surprise at all that there is a surge in separation anxiety among our pets.
“Dogs are such a fantastic addition to a family but they cannot be treated as an afterthought – as our research proves.”
Veterinary surgeon Clarisse Berardier added: “We’re seeing more dogs than usual who are experiencing anxiety, which can present itself as aggressive or destructive behaviour, barking or panting more than usual and repetitive or compulsive behaviours.”