Paul Hollywood, ice cream vans, the theme tune to Coronation Street and pizza delivery men have emerged among a list of common phobias for pets in the UK.
According to a new poll of British pet owners – 48 percent of dogs and cats in the UK suffer from some sort of fear or anxiety – with more than one in four claiming their pet is terrified of the vacuum cleaner.
Some 22 percent said their pet refuses to be left alone in the house and one in ten saying they will not go into the outside if it is raining.
Spiders, babies and even feather dusters are also among the list of fears of the UK’s furry friends.
The study by Ceva Animal Health, which was made up of 1,000 pet owners, revealed that dogs were the most likely pet to be afraid.
Some 41 percent of respondents said their pet’s fears were so bizarre they had become a talking point among their family and friends.
The most common reaction to a fear is to bark (33 percent), but a timid 29 percent of animals go and hide.
Tin foil was also listed as a genuine anxiety for many of our four-legged friends, as was the vet, being kept on a lead and the stairs.
The poll found that 14 percent of animals tended to howl when they had an irrational fear, but for 30 percent of owners, their dog or cat will poo or pee on the carpet.
Over a third of the animal-owners surveyed, said they were genuinely worried about their pet’s behaviour and 22 percent said it was causing stress within the household.
According to the research the best way to deal with their pet’s episodes is to try and calm them down by stroking them and 19 percent said they would remove them from the situation.
A spokesman for Ceva said: “Some of the fears dogs and cats suffer from are fairly common – such as the stairs, the postman and being left alone. However, there is no valid explanation as to why the nation’s pets would take such a dislike to certain celebrities, theme tunes or TV programmes.”
Andrew Fullerton, technical manager for behaviour at Ceva Animal Health, said: “These results are really interesting and show a level of education is still needed in assessing, interpreting and understanding our pet’s behaviour and looking at solutions and products such as pheromone based sprays, diffusers and collars, that can help handle stressful situations and prevent unwanted behaviour.”
According to the study, 46 percent of pet owners said their animal had ruined their home with the carpet (49 percent), the sofa (43 percent) and wallpaper (23 percent) the most likely victims of a badly-behaved pet.
One in twenty said their pet has set them back over £1,000 as a result of the damage they have caused in the house.
TOP PHOBIAS OF THE NATION’S PETS
Vacuum cleaners – 42 percent
Fireworks - 37 percent
Thunder – 28 percent
The vets – 24 percent
Being left on their own – 22 percent
The postman – 14 percent
Mail coming through the letterbox - 12 percent
The car – 12 percent
Sleeping by themselves – 11 percent
Rain - Nine percent
Babies/children – Seven percent
Pizza delivery man – Seven percent
Being on a lead – Five percent
Tin foil - Five percent
Buses – Four percent
Spiders - Three percent
The stairs - Three percent
Hats - Three percent
Feather dusters - Three percent
Ice-cream vans – Two percent
The garden - Two percent
Coronation Street theme tune - Two percent
Paul Hollywood - Two percent
Grass - Two percent