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New Study: Financial, Mental and Emotional Burdens of Pet Separation Anxiety Weighs Heavy on the Hearts of Pets and Owners Alike

(May 17, 2017)

TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than half of pet owners say their pets’ anxieties about being left at home alone have affected them or their family members, causing some owners to take extreme measures -- including changing or quitting jobs or transitioning to working from home to alleviate pet anxiety.

This is just one of the insights stemming from a new study underwritten by pet tech company Pawbo Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Acer, that sheds new light on the key concerns pet owners have when leaving pets home alone and the full range of financial, mental and emotional burdens pet and pet owners bear when separated.

(See the infographic at: https://www.pawbo.com/us/secretlifeofanxiouspets )

The study, based on a survey of 1,000 current and former pet owners aged 18 and over, was conducted in March 2017 by independent survey firm one poll.

Over 65% surveyed said their pet exhibited unusual anxiety-related behaviors when left at home alone. One of the most common behaviors cited by owners was pet “sadness or depression” stemming from separation anxiety.

Additional behaviors noted were:

  • Over 40% reported excessive pacing, panting or trembling
  • Nearly 28% said their pet chewed or destroyed home goods or personal items
  • One in four cited excessing howling or barking
  • More than one in five said their pet urinated or defecated in the home
  • Some 15% reported pets hiding or attempting to escape the home
  • One in ten reported pet vomiting
  • Other pet owners reported pet destructive behaviors ranging from shredding toilet paper rolls, tipping over trash cans, pulling out their own fur, and even “faking an injury” or acting sick to try to dissuade owners from leaving.  

The survey reveals pet anxiety about being left at home alone impacts pet owners and family members at work and play. More than one in seven reported a family member has experienced a feeling of stress and anxiety due to their pets’ anxiety about being left at home. Millennial pet owners were most apt to indicate pet separation anxiety made them feel anxious or stressed and negatively impacted enjoyment of leisure time away from home as well as their focus at work.

Owners reported various accommodations to try to alleviate pet separation anxiety and mitigate misbehavior:

  • Nearly 15% have invested in a professional pet sitter or pet day care to help occupy their pets’ time while away.
  • Over 7% opted to get another pet companion for a stressed-out pet.
  • Other efforts including leaving a television on while away, using a crate, and/or having a friend or family member check in on pets periodically. 
  • 6.7% of those reported having to rehome a pet due to issues with separation anxiety.

Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed said they’ve had to cancel or cut a trip short due to general concerns about their pet's health and safety.

  • Male pet owners were twice as likely as female pet owners to cancel or shorten a trip when concerned about pet health.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 paid $250 or more in costs to rearrange their travel plans.
  • Over 18% say concern for their pets has put a crimp in their leisure travel plans, as they now take fewer vacations away from home.
  • Of those who still travel, nearly 1 in 5 pet owners opt to travel with their pets whenever possible.

As the study shows, separation anxiety isn’t solely an issue for pets, it’s also a huge issue for pet owners. “The vast majority of pet owners have concerns about leaving their pets at home – no matter if it’s for an hour or for longer periods – but unfortunately modern life demands that pets and pet owners be forced to be apart,” said Ben Wan, chairman of Pawbo Inc.

“Fortunately, technology can connect pets and pet owners alike to eliminate stress and anxiety all around. The Pawbo+ interactive pet camera provides peace-of-mind for pet owners by giving them the ability to check in on their pets no matter how far away they are. When pets and pet owners are connected in this way it can greatly reduce stress, anxiety and boredom of pets to make them feel more comfortable and secure at home,” he said.

The top rated Pawbo+ provides peace-of-mind to pet owners that must leave their cats or dogs at home alone throughout the day. Ideal for cats and small dogs, Pawbo+’s internet-enabled wide-angle camera (130-degrees) and speaker/microphone combo gives users visual and audio connection to their pets and enables them to interact with their pets in real-time to calm and assure them from afar. This daily interaction can help to reduce anxiety of pets and pet owners alike.

Pet owners use the companion Pawbo Life app for Android and Apple iOS devices, which is available for free download on Google Play and the App Store. The innovative app enables users to interact with their pets and up to eight concurrent Pawbo+ users via live video streaming, and share photos and videos easily on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The device can also be integrated with Dropbox or Google Drive so users can save their precious videos in the cloud easily.

Using Pawbo accessories controlled remotely through the app, pet owners can activate games and toys – such as the Pawbo Catch (cat teaser) – throughout the day to entertain pets and prevent boredom. Pawbo+ has an integrated laser pointer that can be remotely activated to keep pets active.

Owners can remotely administer treats stored in Pawbo+’s built-in storage tray. This, together with multiple ringtone notifications, enables owners to train pets and reward and encourage good behavior.

Trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the property of their respective owners. All offers subject to change without notice or obligation and may not be available through all sales channels. Prices listed are manufacturer suggested retail prices and may vary by location. Applicable sales tax extra.

CONTACT: Contacts:Erin LutzLutz PR for Pawbo+1 949-293-1055erin@lutzpr.comMonica HuangPawbo Inc. (Acer Group)+886-2-2696-3131 Ext.5113Monica.Huang@acer.com

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