08 December 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Research Shows Two-Thirds of Pet Owners Miss Out on Travel Because of Separation Anxiety

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Thinking about flying with your pet this Christmas? New research from Virgin Trains suggests you should think again as the financial and emotional costs for owners and pets joining the big Christmas getaway are revealed. In Britain, nearly half of pet owners (47 per cent) have sought to avoid these and missed out on Christmas with family and friends from putting their pets’ needs first.

  • Nearly half of UK pet owners have sacrificed or changed their plans for the sake of their pet
  • Over half of pet owners (59 per cent) admit to avoiding travel to prevent separation anxiety
  • Owners hit with £100-plus per week bill to leave their pets behind

Nearly two-thirds (59 per cent) report separation anxiety when leaving their pets behind, 21 per cent cut their trip short, while over a quarter (27 per cent) have avoided travelling and pet sitting entirely, and asked friends and family to visit them instead.

Animal behaviour expert, Marc Abraham said: “Being apart from your pet can be a very stressful experience. Many people report suffering from anxiety when separated from their pet, making them reluctant to leave them over Christmas. When it comes to flying, our furry companions can also get a little anxious whilst in the hold and away from their owners, so it is always best to travel together if possible.”

Virgin Trains welcomes two dogs, cats or other small domestic animals with every customer on the east and west coast routes between London and Scotland at no extra cost.
Blue Cross for Pets describes the symptoms of separation anxiety in pets:

Your dog becomes distressed as soon as you leave. The first 15 minutes are the worst, during which time your dog becomes extremely upset. All the physiological signs of fear may be present – an increase in heart and breathing rate, panting, salivating, increased activity and, sometimes, a need to go to the toilet. Your dog may try to follow you as you leave, scratching at doors, chewing at doorframes, scratching at carpets or jumping up at windowsills to look for a way out. Alternatively your dog may bark, whine or howl to try and persuade you to come back.

After this frantic period, your dog may settle down to chew something that you have recently touched that still carries your scent. Dogs will often chew scented items into small pieces and curl up in the debris so that your dog forms a ‘barrier’ of your scent around them for security.

On your return, your dog may appear elated and may become very excitable. They may be wet, either from salivating or excessively drinking due to stress.
When you are home, your dog may attempt to follow you wherever you go in the house. They may begin to display anxious behaviours when they see you preparing to leave the house (eg panting, pacing).