With Bonfire Night confirmed as being the worst, Ceva Animal Health, creators of the Adaptil and Feliway pet behaviour products as well as the first UK Pet Anxiety Month, have revealed the top five most stressful nights for pets.
Results from a survey of more than 1,000 pet owners across the UK confirm that 81 per cent believe Bonfire Night is a challenging night for their pet, due to the unpredictable and loud sounds of fireworks and the unusual smells from bonfires and sparklers.
Coming in at second place as an uneasy event for pets is Halloween: 77 per cent of pet owners admit the constant doorbell ringing causes their pet discomfort and 67 per cent fear the influx of people appearing at the door wearing scary costumes and masks will add to their pet’s distress.
Christmas has been revealed as the third most stressful time of year for our furry friends. More than half are distressed by relatives staying over, 36 per cent of pets don’t like the fact their routine is interrupted and 33 per cent 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 per cent of pet owners confirm their pets are frustrated by being surrounded by food they are not allowed to eat.
Abbie King, Product Manager from Ceva said, “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 consideration and take the appropriate steps to make them feel as relaxed as possible.”
The research shows almost a third of pet owners are unable to calm their pets during nights such as Bonfire Night, while 76 per cent say their pet being upset distracts from the fun of the event. Only 13 percent of pet owners invested in behavioural aids to help keep them calm, and 44 per cent googled advice rather than seeking the help of a professional.
Andrew Fullerton, Technical Manager for Behaviour at Ceva Animal Health, said, “These results are really interesting and show a level of education is still needed in understanding our pet’s behaviour and finding solutions and products that can help them during stressful situations and prevent unwanted behaviour.
“We wanted to conduct this research to support our #AreYouReady campaign, which we’ve launched to help educate per owners in the run up to the 5th November – proven to be the most stressful night of the year for cats and dogs. If you’re concerned about your pet’s wellbeing over the next few months, we advise seeking help from a local vet or pet behavioural specialist.”
Owners can access a step by step guide for preparing pets for Halloween, Bonfire Night, and the festive season by visiting www.petanxiety.co.uk.