Breakthrough Veterinary Resources

Anxiety and stress – an increasing problem among dogs seen in veterinary practices.

Few of us doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic and the UK-wide lockdown has increased stress among dog owners and their pets.

The PDSA Paw Report 2020 confirms that much of what has worried veterinary professionals in their own locality is also repeated nationally. By surveying 10,000 consumers and more than 600 veterinary professionals, pre and post lockdown, the most recent Paw Report has confirmed some alarming trends among the UK’s 10.1 million dogs.

Welfare issues with dogs

  • Post lockdown – 20% of owners that had owned their pet before lockdown, reported that their pets had started to show at least one new behaviour since restrictions began
  • 5% said that their dog is spending more time in a quieter area of the house
  • 5% are showing signs of distress when left alone
  • 20% of dogs are routinely left alone for 5 hours or more
  • 42% (4.3 million) dogs are walked for less than 30 minutes at a time
  • 13% say that their dogs are not walked every day
  • 11% of owners feel that their dogs are bored
  • 10% have behavioural concerns during walks
  • 16% have fed more treats since lockdown
  • 10% say they have fed more human food since lockdown

Veterinary professionals are all too aware of the pandemic’s effect on the wellbeing of the nation’s pets.

  • 53% have seen increases in owners seeking professional advice for behavioural issues over the last two years
  • 66% routinely recommend client referral for behavioural issues
  • 61% have seen an increase in phobias, such as noise phobia
  • 46% have seen an increase in euthanasia in dogs for behavioural issues

What about veterinary professionals themselves?

The report indicates, “75% of veterinary professionals said that euthanasia due to behavioural issues has been one of the issues which have had the greatest emotional effect on them personally, over the last ten years”

Veterinary professionals looking forward

Animal welfare organisations have expressed concern about the potential for increasing behavioural problems when restrictions are lifted, with further changes in dogs’ routines and environments, as well as the lack of socialisation opportunities for young puppies.

Stress anxiety in dogs is clearly a growing problem for all concerned. This poses additional challenges for veterinary professionals, both in the dogs that are currently having to access veterinary treatment without an accompanying owner and in those where lockdown has allowed problem behaviours to develop further than might otherwise been the case.

Breakthrough dog food has been shown to assist in the management of anxiety and stress in dogs, and as an adjunct to other therapeutic approaches. Combined with behaviour and training therapy, Breakthrough dog food can be one of the best supporting tools for your veterinary practice and clients.

Breakthrough Ambassador Programme

Join our Breakthrough Ambassador programme and become part of a network of pet professionals using Breakthrough dog food alongside behaviour and training modification to improve the behaviour and wellbeing of dogs across the UK, and to help minimise unnecessary rehoming and euthanasia.

Become a Breakthrough Ambassador

Discover how Breakthrough can help support clients and their dog in your care today with our online resources …

Breakthrough Ambassador Progamme professional resources

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Breakthrough Ambassador Progamme Training and Support

Click here to discover the available resources to support you when recommending Breakthrough dog food.

Breakthrough Ambassador Progamme Marketing Material

Click here to read the full case history and behaviour modification advice which features in June’s VN Times.