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PET ARCHITECTS - How would our pets design their own ideal homes?

Is your home harming your pet?

PFMA reveals the ideal home as designed by a dog, cat and rabbit


Media contact: salt PR on (020) 8870 6777
 
80% of owners consider their pets’ needs to be as important, if not more important than their families’ needs, yet when it comes to anti-social behaviours like hissing and biting, many owners are unaware that the root cause could be their home, says the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA)[1].
                                                                                                             
Pets are often made to fit in around our busy lifestyles, in environments designed for us. When their natural behaviours, particularly related to feeding, playing and sleeping are not accommodated, it can lead to aggressive, reclusive or anti-social behaviour.
 
A survey undertaken by the PFMA reveals that 42% of dog owners feed their pets at human meal times, meaning they are forced to fit around their owners’ meal schedules [2]. Furthermore the majority of dogs sleep in owners’ bedrooms which might be the best place for humans, but not necessarily best for pets; particularly dogs, who need a deep, undisturbed sleep.
 
Many cat owners also don’t realise that a lack of  sufficient litter trays can prompt a cat to relieve itself in inappropriate areas around the house.
 
It is important for pets’ welfare to make simple changes in the home environment, in order to better accommodate pets natural tendencies. Such improvements can make a big difference to a pet’s behaviour, health and happiness.
 
In order to showcase this and to help owners to understand how best to accommodate their pets, the PFMA has created pets’ ideal homes as seen through the eyes of dogs, cats and rabbits. These images, which have been designed in collaboration with pet behaviourists, can be found on the PFMA website.
 
Pet behaviourist, Professor Peter Neville said: “factors in the home affecting sleep, mental stimulation, eating and toileting can have a significant affect on a pet’s mood.
 

How are you feeding your pets?

Cats are natural hunters and like to use their senses to find food. Their preference is to eat small amounts regularly during the day.
 
Dogs like to use their sense of smell to find food and don’t always register when they are full, so be careful to avoid over-feeding them.
 
Rabbits and other small furries are foragers and like to graze for long periods during the day.
 
“Unless we try to understand our pets’ needs, it can be difficult to change or encourage better behaviours. Sometimes relatively easy changes like putting bedding on a high, accessible shelf for your cat to retreat to, or providing stimulating puzzle toys for your dog while you are out can make a big difference to the way they behave”, Dr Neville said.
 
The PFMA Chief Executive, Michael Bellingham said, “it is clear that most pet owners go out of their way to look after their pets’ needs and want to accommodate them to the best of their ability. We have designed our new website as a resource centre for pet owners to access tips, suggestions and animal facts to help them do their best by their animal companions”.
 
The PFMA urges pet owners to log-on to www.pfma.org.uk and see what difference they can make to their pet’s life.
 

[1] Research conducted by TNS on behalf of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association in Sep 2010. Sample: 2,611 GB adults aged 16-64.
[2] Research conducted by TNS on behalf of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association in Sep 2010. Sample: 2,611 GB adults aged 16-64.
 
For more information on the study, pet case studies, images or the pet designed house images, please contact Julia Lloyd on 0208 870 6777 or julia@saltlondon.com
 
Notes to editors
The contributing pet behaviourists are Professor Peter Neville and Emma Magnus.
 
About the PFMA
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry. Its 62 members account for over 90% of the market and produce a wide range of products for cats, dogs, rabbits and other pet animals. To find out more, please visit: www.pfma.org.uk
 
Owners should be aware that if anti-social behaviour persists, they should contact their vet.

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