Pfizer Animal Health

June 08, 2009 03:00 ET

Dogs on Holiday

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - This year possibly up to 500,000 dogs could be enjoying a summer break with their owners(i). Around 12 million adults say they will take their main holiday in the UK and many may also be packing for their pooches, with over 60 % of pet owners globally reporting they travel with their pet and 17% claiming their main reason is that they enjoy spending their holidays with their furry friend (1),(2).

But for Fido it may not be all sun, sea and "snacks". According to Pfizer Animal Health travelling to your holiday destination could quite literally make some pets feel as sick as a dog. Recent market research by the company has revealed that up to 1 in 6 dogs that travel suffer from travel sickness (3),(4).

Motion (or travel) sickness is thought to be caused by a combination of stress, anxiety and movement causing disturbances in the balance mechanism in the inner ear. Dogs usually first suffer motion sickness when they are puppies and are thought to experience progressively greater levels of stress during later journeys.

Pfizer Animal Health has some practical DOs and DON'Ts for pet owners travelling with their pet this summer:

- Do allow plenty of fresh air into the car

- If the dog associates the car with an enjoyable activity, such as a walk at the destination, then this will help reduce anxiety and fear.

- Don't just assume the problem will go away or the dog will 'get over it'.

- Do ask your vet for help. There is now a tablet that can be given to prevent motion sickness that will not sedate or disorientate your pet, or make it sleepy. Sedatives can make a dog feel incapacitated and the negative memories of that feeling of helplessness can stay with your dog, making future travel all the more stressful. Newer treatments for motion sickness that don't sedate mean that when you get to your destination you and your pet can start enjoying your holiday straight away.

For further help or advice visit www.dog-car-sickness.co.uk.

References

(i) 12 million adults equals approx 1/4 of the adult population. 23% of households own 8 million dogs (Pet Food Manufacturers Association 2009 Figures www.pfma.org.uk).

6% of dog owning households are likely to be travelling within the UK.
Assuming a conservative figure of 25% will take their dog this is 1.5% of the dog owning households or 521,739 dogs.

1. Research carried out by Opinium Research on behalf of LV Travel Insurance Survey as quoted at www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=92495

2. http://www.tripadvisor.com/PressCenter-i197-c1-Press_Releases.html

3. Pfizer Market Research June 06 and Feb 08

4. Cerenia Global motion sickness study, June 206

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