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Pet ‘af-fur-mations’: Itch Insure launches unique audio experience for pets and humans

Blog Home Apr 12, 2021

At Itch, we deliver a winning combination of pet health and well-being products. We’re now proud to have launched the first ever pet insurance that rewards proactive pet care. 

What does that mean? 

We believe you deserve to be rewarded with lower monthly insurance payments for taking great care of your pet. The more you protect your pet with Itch Treatments, the more you’ll save on your pet’s insurance. Because healthy pets take less trips to the vets.

To celebrate the launch of Itch Insure, we consulted with Itch Advisory Panellist and animal behaviour and welfare expert, Dr Lauren Finka, to create a unique and innovative audio experience for owners and pets to enjoy together. 

The pet ‘af-fur-mations’ audio track, which is voiced by Oli Juste, leading dog trainer, behaviourist and Itch Advisory Panellist, combines classical music, affirmations, and meditation. It’s designed to provide the ulti-mutt relaxation experience and a moment of calm for you and your pet to enjoy together.

 

Setting the scene for your audio experience

Dr Lauren Finka provides the following tips to help you and your pet get comfortable before starting the experience:

  • Set aside some time when you know you won’t be disturbed. Find a warm, quiet place where you can either lay or sit comfortably and your pet can do the same. This might be a quiet room in the house or even a sunny spot in the garden, but make sure it’s somewhere that your pet is able to relax too
  • Get into a comfortable position and lay a blanket (or your pet’s bed) nearby
  • To help your pet to relax, you could spritz some calming spray onto the blanket about 15 minutes before the session. These sprays are designed to provide your pet with a greater sense of calm or comfort. Alternatively, you could use the plug-in diffuser versions of these products
  • If your cat or dog is of the energetic, fidgety kind, you might want to use a puzzle feeder stuffed with their favourite foods to encourage them to stay settled on the blanket for the duration of the relaxation. You can also place a few of your pets’ favourite treats on the blanket to keep them engaged
  • If your pet is the nervous, sensitive type, and isn’t keen to come over to you, or would prefer a little distance, this is OK. Just let them be where they feel most comfortable. You may find that simply by engaging with the audio experience and relaxing, your pet may feel a little more comfortable in your proximity
  • Once your pet is settled and comfortable, start with a simple breathing exercise. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to expand and your lungs to feel slightly stretched. Exhale slowly. Repeat at least three times

How to interact with your pet during the experience:

  • During the audio experience, you will be encouraged to touch and stroke your pet. To ensure this is a positive and relaxing experience for them (and also safe for you), ensure that you only stroke areas of your pets’ body you know they enjoy.
  • For cats, this might mean that you choose to focus on gently stroking their cheeks, at the base of their ears and under their chin, and avoid stroking along their spine or touching their tummy, or perhaps avoiding touching them altogether.
  • For dogs, avoid any ‘sensitive’ areas where they have previously seemed uncomfortable to be touched. Similarly, your dog may prefer you to just sit quietly beside them rather than to touch them during the experience.

Congrats! You’re now ready to begin the pet ‘af-fur-mations’ audio experience.

 

 

What are the benefits of sounds and affirmations for pets?

Dr Lauren Finka discusses the benefits of sounds and affirmations for pets. She said:

“The idea behind this audio experience is for pet owners to take a few moments to enter into a calm, peaceful and positive mental state whilst near to their pets. Scientific research has shown that pets are sensitive to our tone of voice, body language and even facial expressions, and may therefore notice (and appreciate) the changes in our behaviour that the relaxation practice using this track will bring out.

 “Studies also suggest that just like in humans, classical music can have a calming and relaxing impact on cats and dogs. Additionally, positive verbal praise from owners has been found to stimulate the ‘reward’ parts of dogs’ brains. Therefore, as well as encouraging us humans to relax, the music and affirmations selected for the audio track are also designed to have a directly positive, calming impact on your pet.”

 

How do we reward ourselves and our pets?

We surveyed more than 1,000 pet owners᩵ and found that over two thirds (67%) see their pets as much a part of the family as siblings, children and parents.

More than a third (35%) also say that they often go above and beyond to ensure their pet is as happy and healthy as can be, yet just over half (57%) of Brits say they have pet insurance, leaving 43% of pet owners and pets at risk should anything happen to their fluffy friends.

With such an unbreakable bond between pet and owner, it makes sense that a further third (34%) say they love to share rewarding experiences with their pet and admit to trying to replicate human experiences for them to enjoy such as letting them eat human food (17%) and giving them a massage (17%).


We also found ‘anxiety and stress’ are the most reported pet health conditions by owners when signing-up to an Itch subscription, as well as one of the top causes of current concerns by pet owners (23%). Owners say that their pets are one of their biggest concerns in life (44%), more than their finances (40%) or even their job (17%).

The audio track places a focus firmly on pet health and wellbeing and features positive reinforcement for both you and your furry friend.

It’s also great to see that pet health and wellbeing is at the top of the agenda, as our research found pet parents believe one of the best ways to reward their pets is by keeping them healthy (27%).

32% of pet parents reward their pet by taking them on a long walk, 23% think about regular parasite protection, 22% make sure they only give their pet ‘healthy’ food and 10% purchase some kind of health supplement for their pet. 


Why choose Itch Insure?

As well as the reward that cat and dog owners receive from having a healthy and happy pet in their lives, we think they should also be rewarded for taking the best possible care of their pets, and that’s exactly what Itch Insure is all about.

Itch is a hassle-free monthly subscription service for pet health and well-being products, including highly effective parasite treatments. By using Itch Treatments, you are focusing on your furry friends wellbeing. This means we’ll reward you with 10-17% off your insurance payments, based on your subscription level. The more you protect your pet, the more you save.

Itch Insure members can also get access to the Itch Vet Clinic, offering 24/7 free and unlimited advice from vets, nurses, behaviourists and counsellors. To find out more and to get a quote, head to the Itch Insure homepage


Itch Insure is provided by Pinnacle Insurance Plc
᩵Consumer research carried out by Research Without Barriers, consisting of 1,018 UK adult cat/dog owners and conducted between 30th March 2021 and 2nd April 2021.