The end of the summer holidays isn’t the happiest time for many people and pets can also be miserable about it too. But it’s not disappointment that the holidays are over that affects pets –many suffer from being left alone for longer during the day after an idyllic summer with all the family close at hand.
Premium natural supplements company Lintbells says there’s often an increased need for its pet calming supplements in September as children return to school and family routines go back to normal after a summer spent together.
Up to 30% of dogs1 show obvious signs of anxiety when home alone and many more could be affected, but with the signs not being recognised by owners.
Cats can also suffer from separation anxiety with destructiveness, litter tray accidents, excessive vocalisation, or psychogenic grooming and self mutiliation2being the most common signs. It’s not always obvious that separation anxiety is the cause of the signs observed in cats.
Genetic factors, a previous history of early weaning, prolonged departures and excessive greetings, or a lack of environmental enrichment3 may be acting as a background to the problem. Both cats and dogs that shadow their owners may be more predisposed to separation anxiety.
Lintbells Commercial Lead, Sue Lewis says everyone experiences some level of adjustment to their routines once summer is over.
“As pet owners are focussed on the changes they have to make, pets don’t always receive the attention they deserve at this important time.
'And of course some pets have already experienced a period of adjustment while their owners are away on holiday – whether that’s in a boarding setting or being looked after by house-sitters or relatives. It can leave them feeling quite unsettled, creating a pattern of behaviour that can be difficult to disrupt.
"If owners don’t act it may even become habitual, setting up the household for a significant period of disruption and making the pet increasingly unhappy.”
The Lintbells veterinary team says that it recommends a multimodal approach, which includes making changes to the environment so that when home alone the pet has stimulating activities and also a safe place to wind down and rest.
There’s an opportunity for retailers to recommend products such as timed feeders, toys that can be safely played with when the pet is alone and beds that feel secure, to help stressed pets. Natural supplements like YuCALM Dog and YuCALM Cat also play an important role in restoring a sense of wellbeing without causing drowsiness or otherwise altering the expression of natural behaviours.
For further information, visit www.lintbells.com.