Bonfire night the most stressful night of the year for pets - Veterinary Practice
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Bonfire night the most stressful night of the year for pets

Recent research by Ceva Animal Health, manufacturer of the leading veterinary behaviour products, Adaptil and Feliway, has revealed that Bonfire Night tops the poll of the five most stressful nights of the year for pets, causing anxiety in over 80 percent of cats and dogs

Viewed as the most challenging night of the year due to the loud noises and flashes of fireworks, research revealed that almost a third of pet owners were unable to calm their pets during stressful occasions such as Bonfire Night, while 76 percent said their pet being upset distracted from the fun of the event.

Second in the most stressful event of the year poll came Halloween, with 77 percent of owners admitting that the constant doorbell ring caused their pet discomfort. Furthermore, 67 percent feared the influx of people appearing at the door and the fact that they wear scary costumes and masks added to their pet’s distress.

Christmas has been revealed as the third most stressful time of year for pets. More than half are distressed by relatives staying over, 36 percent of pets don’t like the fact their routine is interrupted and a third of pets are suspicious of unusual objects in the house, such as Christmas trees and decorations. According to Ceva’s research, tempting treats are also a significant cause of anxiety for pets during the festive period as 44 percent of owners confirmed their pets felt frustrated by being surrounded by food they are not allowed to eat!

Easter and the summer holidays have also been revealed as making pets feel ill at ease, causing 50 percent of owners to cancel or change plans due to concerns about their pet’s mental health.

Owners surveyed used a variety of techniques to combat their pet’s anxiety, including keeping them inside during nights such as Bonfire Night (69 percent), giving them treats (41 percent), or shutting them in a separate room (15 percent). However, despite being scientifically proven to help cats and dogs handle stressful situations, only 13 percent of pet owners invested in behavioural aids to help keep them calm.

“While the end of summer marks an exciting period of events, such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s important that owners take their pet’s mental health into account and take the appropriate steps to make them feel as relaxed as possible,” comments Andy Fullerton, technical manager for behaviour at Ceva Animal Health. “Building a den for a dog and a hideaway for a cat a few weeks in advance of festivities will give pets a safe place to retreat to during stressful events. Plugging in an Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser or Feliway Classic Diffuser close by will help them feel secure and create a calm environment to retreat to. Seeking professional help from your vet or a qualified behaviourist is also important in more severe cases. You can find a list of qualified behaviourists on the Animal Behaviour and Training Council webpage.”

Ceva has launched an #AreYouReady campaign to help educate pet owners in the run up to Bonfire Night. For further information, visit the Adaptil or Feliway websites.

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