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Loneliness isn’t just for Blue Monday

Many people dismiss the notion of ‘Blue Monday’ – reportedly the most depressing day of the year. Millions of pets, however, are suffering in silence every day, with their basic needs not being met.

With owners hectic lifestyles back in full swing, millions of pets are facing an unhappy year ahead.

Research by vet charity PDSA has revealed that over 2.3 million dogs* are routinely left at home alone for five hours or more (professionals advise four hours’ maximum) which can severely affect their mental well-being.

It also shows that 465,000 dogs (five percent) are never taken for a walk despite daily walks and socialisation with other dogs essential for a dog’s physical and mental health.

PDSA vet, Vicki Larkham-Jones, said: “These are very worrying findings and the fact that people think it’s acceptable to leave their dog alone for so long is especially concerning.  Lonely, frustrated dogs may be more likely to demonstrate problem or unwanted behaviour and over 50 percent of UK veterinary professionals report having seen an increase in dog euthanasia due to behavioural issues in the past two years.”

PDSA has lots of practical advice about keeping pets health and happy – visit www.pdsa.org.uk for more details.

* 2.3 million dogs – 25% of dog owners surveyed – routinely left their dog  alone for 5 hours or more’ –based on an estimated dog population of 9.3 million, 9,300,000 x 25/100 = 2,325,000

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