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Pets going missing on Bonfire Night

Significant rise in missing pets on Bonfire Night… keep yours safe!

On Bonfire Night, a shocking 35% more dogs and 22% more cats are reported missing than on any other night of the year.

Agria Pet Insurance is highlighting these alarming statistics in a drive to help reduce the stress experienced by pets this fireworks season. By doing so, the 125-year-old pet insurer aims to minimise the number of accidents, injuries and stress-related behavioural problems seen in frightened and missing pets this November.

“Every year we see the serious consequences that the fear of fireworks has on pets. We hope that by making owners more aware and by giving helpful, practical advice, we can help make the season less traumatic for pets,” says Wendy Roberts, Claims Manager at Agria Pet Insurance.

Data collected over the past five years by Pet24, the UKs leading pet visual identification service and partner of Agria’s, also shows that:

  • During the week either side of Bonfire Night, the service sees a rise of nearly one third in reports of missing pets compared with an average week.
  • August and November are the two busiest months for Pet24 due to pets being taken on holiday and fear of fireworks respectively.

To keep things as calm as possible and reduce the risk of runaways, the team at Agria, together with TV vet and founder of PupAid, Marc Abraham, recommend the following:

  1. Play fireworks sound effects during the weeks, or ideally months, before fireworks start. Marc suggests, “Unconfident canines should be acclimatised before the big night using one of the many noise CDs or downloads available.”
  2. Give dogs a long walk early on 5th November, and feed pets during the daylight hours.
  3. Ensure cats are safely home before dark and given a litter tray to use, and that as darkness falls, all curtains are drawn and windows, doors and pet flaps are securely closed.
  4. “Make a safe den for your dog to retreat into if they’re scared and distract them from firework noises by turning the TV or radio up. Also, try to behave calmly and not fuss your pet, otherwise they’ll pick up on your odd behaviour,” suggests Marc.
  5. Try plug-in pheromone products, available from your vet, as they can also be effective in helping pets to relax.

Wendy says, ‘We encourage all pet owners to follow Marc’s advice to keep their pets safe during the fireworks season. And although we don’t receive a large volume of stress-related claims, if policyholders do need specific help for their pets, on the recommendation of their vet, Agria’s cover for behavioural therapy makes it possible.’

Owners continuing from a 4 Weeks Free Agria policy (including Kennel Club Pet Insurance and GCCF Insurance) are given free membership of Pet24, so should the worst happen and their pet go missing on Bonfire Night, expert backup is instantly on-hand.

Romek Kriwald, Pet24’s Managing Director comments, “We recommend owners keep pets indoors on Bonfire Night. If you have to allow your pet outside, always take extreme care and ensure they are microchipped and wearing a collar and identity tag, just in case.”

Notes for editors:

Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal, equine and agricultural insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent player in the UK pet insurance sector.  Agria UK works with vets, breeders and affiliates providing insurance for cats and dogs. Agria also administrates pet insurance schemes for the leading small animal registration bodies, The Kennel Club and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). For more information see www.agriapet.co.uk www.kcinsurance.co.uk www.gccfinsurance.co.uk

To find out more about Pet24, see http://www.agriapet.co.uk/tag/pet24/ and www.pet24.org.uk

For more information about Marc Abraham see: www.marcthevet.com

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