A new product hopes to tackle pet separation anxiety

As every responsible dog owner knows, canines can become incredibly distressed if they are left alone for long periods of time. Dogs don’t know the difference between you going to work and you abandoning them, even if this routine has been repeated many times. As soon as the front door closes, dogs can start howling in dismay that their human companion has disappeared, flop down on their beds (or your bed) in a funk and even start destroying things around the house – soft furnishings are popular – because they feel so anxious.

Dogs are social animals and they need love and companionship, just like humans do. They would naturally live in packs or family units and because they have evolved to live alongside humans, a dog will crave the company of its human owner.

If you dog hasn’t been trained to cope with short periods of separation since they were a puppy, or if you have a naturally anxious rescue dog who needs plenty of attention, they are more likely to experience extreme distress. Some owners say they wouldn’t even consider getting a dog until they had retired or had a home-based working situation, so they could give their pupper all the time they needed. However, if you do work away from home, there might be a product that can help. The ‘Lickimat’ is an Australian invention, and has caught the attention of dog owners around the world. It’s basically a plastic mat with little ridges, grooves and squares in it, perfect for owners to fill with treats and foods like peanut butter. Dogs will spend between 20 and 90 minutes licking every trace of food out of the mat, and while they’re concentrating on eating, they won’t be getting upset.

Each mat costs a budget-friendly £4.90 (AU$8.95) and the grooved shape of the mats mean that dogs spend longer trying to get the food out, rather than just inhaling their biscuits in a couple of minutes. In the summer, you can freeze the mat and make it into a cooling treat challenge. Owners Joe and Hazel Clarke have sold more than 160,000 mats in one month and hundreds of social media users are posting pictures of dogs with their mats. Amazon have bought 24,000 Lickimats to sell on their site and are predicting that the tool will become even more popular in the UK.


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/19/a-new-product-hopes-to-tackle-pet-separation-anxiety-7642660/?ito=cbshare

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