Fifth-Annual Pet Anxiety Awareness Campaign in June Helps Pet Parents with Post-Pandemic Return to Work
Kristen Levine and Industry Brands Educate Pet Parents About Relieving Fear, Anxiety and Stress in Companion Animals
Tampa, Florida (May 18, 2021) – Pet Living with Kristen Levine, an online pet parenting guide, announced that the fifth-annual Pet Anxiety Awareness campaign (PAAW) will be observed from June 1st through June 30th. This awareness month was created by Kristen Levine, a nationally-known pet expert and publisher of Pet Living, to help people recognize the symptoms of fear, anxiety and stress (FAS) in dogs and cats, and to encourage pet parents to speak to their veterinarian about how to get their pets relief.
“Behavior is the leading cause of pets being surrendered to animal shelters,” said Levine. “Pets suffering from fear, anxiety or stress can develop behaviors that are really challenging to manage which can lead to these surrenders. Veterinarians estimate that 50 percent of dogs and cats suffer from some form of FAS, while noise aversion and separation anxiety conditions are prevalent among dogs. These are serious medical issues that require consultation with your veterinarian to identify ways to alleviate stress in your pet.”
Today, veterinarians are predicting a rise in cases of canine separation anxiety as people head back to pre-pandemic routines outside the home. “Animals that never experienced separation anxiety in the past could suddenly be coping with the perception of abandonment,” explained board certified veterinary behaviorist, Valarie Tynes in Veterinary Practice News.
Both noise aversion and separation anxiety are conditions that can lead to self-injury or household destructive behaviors in dogs impacting quality of life for both the pet and human family members.
Additionally, fireworks celebrations from the upcoming July 4th holiday may trigger fear responses in dogs that suffer from noise aversion, a fear of loud noises.
Research shows that 67 percent of dogs in the United States suffer from one or more signs of noise aversion, so it’s critical to raise awareness as the symptoms are often misunderstood as behavior problems1.
SILEO® (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel), which is distributed by Zoetis and is the first FDA-approved treatment for dogs that suffer from noise aversion, will return as a lead sponsor for a fourth year. The prescription medication can easily be administered at home to calm without sedation, which allows your dog to interact normally with the family.
Research conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that separation anxiety affects up to 17% of dogs in the U.S.2, 3 Separation anxiety is a condition in which affected dogs may exhibit certain problematic behaviors when left alone, such as when the owner leaves the home for work or to run an errand. It’s important for dog owners to know that their dog is not bad but is suffering from a treatable medical condition.
Reconcile® (fluoxetine hydrochloride), an FDA approved treatment for separation anxiety in dogs, is a new PAAW sponsor this year. Prescribed by a veterinarian, the chewable tablets, when administered in conjunction with a simple, at-home training plan, have been shown to reduce problematic behaviors resulting from separation anxiety.
“We’re delighted to have new and returning sponsors this year representing a variety of treatments and therapies for dogs and cats suffering with FAS,” said Levine. “Our sponsors and industry supporters help us expand our reach and resources to help pet parents find the appropriate solution for their pet”.
In addition to pharmaceutical sponsors, SILEO and Reconcile, 2021 PAAW sponsors also include, DOGTV, a 24/7 digital TV channel with programming scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone; ALL-IN, is a life-stage supplement for dogs made by Vetericyn Animal Wellness containing MemoRem® Neuro-Complex to support brain health; ThunderShirt, the original natural calming solution that helps reduce anxiety in dogs in a drug-free way; ThunderWunders, a line of Dog and Cat Calming Chews recommended by veterinarians that promote rest and relaxation for pets.
Industry content partners that share PAAW’s mission and will participate in the campaign again include Fear Free, LLC, The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB), The Dog Nerds and new this year PetHub. For more information, visit the PAAW website.
Dogs and cats can experience FAS affecting their behavior and health in a variety of situations including veterinary visits, traveling, meeting strangers and changes to their environment or routine. Pet parents can access FAS resources year-round at www.petanxietyawareness.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (SILEO®): Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver or kidney diseases, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation, or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue or in dogs hypersensitive to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. SILEO should not be administered in the presence of preexisting hypotension, hypoxia, or bradycardia. Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival disease that could have an effect on the absorption of SILEO. SILEO has not been evaluated for use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs or for aversion behaviors to thunderstorms. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handlers should avoid direct exposure of SILEO to their skin, eyes or mouth. Failure to lock the ring-stop on the syringe before dosing SILEO could potentially lead to an accidental overdose. Always review INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE before dispensing and dosing.
See full Prescribing Information.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (Reconcile®): The most common adverse events in decreasing order of reported frequency are: decreased appetite, depression/lethargy, shaking/shivering/tremor, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety, seizures, aggression, diarrhea, mydriasis, vocalization, weight loss, panting, confusion, incoordination, and hypersalivation. Reconcile chewable tablets are contraindicated for dogs with a history of seizures or when used with MAOIs. Reconcile® chewable tablets are indicated for the treatment of canine separation anxiety in conjunction with a behavior modification plan. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
- The Harris Poll: Custom Motion Sickness and Noise Aversion Omnibus Pet Owner Quantitative Research Report, December 2018
- Bamberger M, Houpt KA. Signalment factors, comorbidity, and trends in behavior diagnoses in dogs: 1,644 cases (1991-2001). JAVMA. 2006;229(10):1593.
- Tiira K, Sulkama S, Lohi H. Prevalence, comorbidity, and behavioral variation in canine anxiety. J Vet Behav. 2016;16:38.
About Pet Living with Kristen Levine: Connecting pets, people, and brands for 30+ years, Kristen Levine is a renowned pet living expert, marketer, speaker, columnist, and social influencer. Today, she publishes the popular Pet Living with Kristen Levine website, an online resource to help pet owners live happier and healthier with their pets and serves as president for the pet and animal health marketing practices at French/West/Vaughan (FWV). Previously, Levine’s career in the pet industry has included serving as PR Director for the Tampa Bay SPCA an founder of the first pet-focused marketing agency, Fetching Communications. Kristen has been recognized for her leadership and advocacy with the Cat Writer’s Association Medallion Award, Pet Age ICON award and the Pet Age Women of Influence Award.
About SILEO®: SILEO is a medication only available from your veterinarian to help calm your dog when frightened by loud noises (noise aversion). Common noise aversion triggers include fireworks, thunder, construction work, traffic or street noise, celebrations, vacuum cleaners, and smoke detectors. SILEO, unlike some other treatments, is FDA-approved for the treatment of noise aversion in dogs. It’s clinically demonstrated to be effective without other treatments or training and it calms without sedating through an easy-to-administer, at-home treatment. Learn more at sileodogus.com.
Kristen Levine has a consulting relationship with Zoetis.
SILEO® is a trademark owned by Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health. It is manufactured by Orion Corporation and distributed by Zoetis under license from Orion Corporation Orion Pharma Animal Health.
About Reconcile®: Reconcile, a flavored, chewable tablet that contains fluoxetine hydrochloride, was developed specifically for dogs with separation anxiety and is available from a trusted manufacturer, PRN Pharmacal. Reconcile chewable tablets are FDA approved for the treatment of canine separation anxiety in conjunction with a behavior modification plan directed by a veterinarian and carried out by the pet’s owner. This once-a-day flavored, chewable tablet prescribed by a veterinarian achieves a calmer frame of mind in dogs, making them more receptive to behavior modification training.