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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Back to the office: Insurers covering cost of therapy for lonely dogs


Insurers are increasingly covering claims for treatment of distressed dogs as their owners return to work, analysis shows.

According to market analysts Defaqto, 44 percent of dog insurance policies now include full coverage for behaviour, up from 30 percent in February of last year.

This means that insurers would cover the cost of veterinary-recommended behavioural therapy to treat an animal’s emotional distress, which could be caused by separation.

During the pandemic, pet ownership increased.

Approximately 3.2 million of the estimated 12 million dogs in the UK were acquired as puppies during the Covid crisis.

Many were purchased by teenagers to provide companionship and exercise while working from home during lockdowns.

The Dogs Trust, a dog welfare charity, has warned that since coronavirus restrictions were lifted, an increasing number of owners are attempting to surrender their dogs for adoption.

The RSPCA has also stated that dogs may experience separation anxiety, which causes them to be distressed.

Destructive behaviour, unwanted toileting, or reports of howling and barking are all indicators. Anxious dogs may tremble, whine, or pace around, as well as exhibit excessive salivation, self-mutilation, repetitive behaviour, and vomiting in some cases.

Some pets may require professional assistance, which can cost thousands of pounds.

According to Brian Brown, Defaqto’s consumer finance expert, insurers have increased their coverage.

“However, there is no excuse for not properly training and socialising a dog, and insurers will not pay claims in such cases,” he said.

“Seek help right away if your dog is showing signs of distress. Many insurers provide free veterinary helplines where you can get advice over the phone even if you don’t need to file a claim. If you discover you don’t have insurance, seek advice from animal charities.”

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