A new analysis by Defaqto has shown that many insurers are now covering claims for treatment of distressed dogs as their owners return to work, according to BBC.
Defaqto, an independent financial information business, said around 44% of dog insurance policies now included full cover for behavior compared to 30% last year.
The figures show that insurers would now cover the cost of behavioral therapy recommended by a vet to treat a dog’s emotional distress.
It has also been found that pet ownership increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 3 million dogs in the United Kingdom were acquired as puppies during the global crisis.
Many young people bought the dogs for companionship and exercise while working from home during lockdowns.
However, Dogs Trust, a British animal welfare charity, has warned that most owners are now trying to hand over dogs for adoption because COVID restrictions have been lifted.
Even the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said dogs could face separation anxiety that made them distressed.
Symptoms of separation anxiety may include destructive behavior, unwanted toileting, or reports of barking and howling. Some dogs may tremble and whine or pace around, while others may have excessive salivation, self-mutilation, repetitive behavior, and vomiting.
Pets with such symptoms require professional help that can cost thousands of pounds.
Brian Brown, Head of Insight for GI and Banking at Defaqto, said many insurers had increased their cover.
He said, “However, there is no excuse for not training and socializing a dog properly and insurers will not pay claims where this is the case.”
“If your dog is showing signs of distress, seek advice straight away. Many insurers offer free vet helplines where you can get advice over the phone, even if you don’t have to make a claim,” Brown added. “If you find you don’t have insurance cover, speak to the animal charities to get advice.”