From tomorrow (30 January), pubs across the UK will be hosting free doggy wellbeing sessions.
The sessions are part of a new campaign by pet insurer MORE TH<N and are designed to help dog owners spot the signs of the winter blues and give them the unique opportunity to chat face to face with a professional Vet Nurse.
It’s not always obvious why a pet might be acting out of character, so the aim of the sessions is to raise awareness among dog owners of the different ways a dog’s wellbeing might be affected.
Research by MORE TH<N reveals that almost a third of dog owners (32%) claim their pet has been noticeably down in the dumps during the chillier months.
What’s more, one in five (20%) even believe that their dog has suffered from an animal equivalent of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – demonstrating symptoms such as being disinterested in playing (44%) or going for a walk (35%), having a reduced appetite (22%) and being less sociable (29%).
The pub pet sessions will be available in pubs on the 30th and 31st January and 1st February and will be run by qualified RCVS veterinary nurses in a relaxed and familiar environment that both owner and pet enjoy.
MORE TH<N has teamed up with dog-friendly pubs in London, Hertfordshire and Surrey to host the free, drop-in sessions. The campaign is also emphasising the importance of seeking professional advice if a pet is suspected to be ill, injured or acting out of character.
Additional research by MORE TH<N indicated that over a third (35%) of pet owners have turned to the internet to diagnose their dogs.
Of those, exactly half (50%) admitted they self-diagnosed online because it was quicker than visiting a vet, 35% turned to the web to save money on a vet’s visit and 27% did so because their vet was closed at the time.
Worryingly, 48% of these owners administrated treatment to their dog based on articles they had read online – despite the dangers of doing so.
The doggy drop-in sessions are running in addition to MORE TH<N’s existing customer offering, which gives MORE TH<N insured pet-owners access to a 24-hour-a-day vetfone service that they can call with any concerns about their pet to receive advice from a professional on what to do next.
Andrew Moore, Director of Pet Claims for MORE TH<N believes that the Vetfone service offered free as part of MORE TH<N’s pet insurance package helps pet owners avoid the pitfalls of self-diagnosis, giving them access to practical, expert information at any time of day or night.
He said: “Our research shows that dog owners can often be confused about what to do when they spot changes in their pet’s behaviour. The vetfone service is a brilliant resource that helps take the guess work out of responsible pet care and points pet owners in the right direction, whether than be to visit a vet or make changes in their routine that could make for a happier pet.”
A spokesperson from vetfone said: “There are a number of symptoms that could indicate your dog is feeling down, including increased licking, changes in diet, apathy changes in sleeping patterns and if they are hiding from you.
“If you notice any changes in your dog’s behaviour or suspect something could be wrong, it’s important to seek expert advice as soon as possible in order to safeguard their wellbeing. If a vet’s health check does not find any physical reason for your pet’s change in behaviour or lack of vitality, then you may want to ask your vet to see if the cause may be stress or anxiety related.”
To find out more about the pub drop-in sessions and to book, you can visit https://www.morethan.com/pet-insurance/news/blue-dog-pub/