UK Dogs are under-walked and stressed out

More than one in four British dog owners believe that
their pets are suffering from stress, with a quarter blaming
their own hectic lifestyles, according to new research
from a pet insurance company.

The study of more than 1,000 dog owners found that
half (53%) describe their life as stressful - and this
anxiety is being passed on to their pets.

As a result, symptoms such as vomiting (32%), diarrhoea
(34 per cent), loss of weight/appetite (12%), lethargy (9%)
and loss of hair coat(10%) are all afflicting the nation's
dogs.

Lack of quality time between owner and pet also seems
to be adding to this stress.

They estimate that 9 out of 10 dogs treated nowadays do
not have enough contact with people. The number of
people living alone increased greatly over the last 20
years and people are working ever-longer hours. This is
leaving the nation's dogs without human contact for
greater periods of time.

Dogs are social creatures who need the contact of humans
or other animals, and this is having a negative impact on
their psychological well being.

However, the research also reveals that 15% of owners
are upset by not being able to spend more time with their
pet. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) rated their dog
as more important to them than their job !

Nevertheless, only half of time-poor dog owners feel that
they spend enough quality time with their pet (52%), with
nearly one in 10 (8%) managing less than half an hour
walking or playing together on a typical week night.

Busy lifestyles are also having a direct effect upon canine
health. Only 44% of owners are able to walk their dogs the
recommended two or more times a day, with almost a
quarter (23%) walking their dog less than once a day.
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