Results of Novartis Animal Health’s Pet Allergy Worldwide Survey (PAWS) report have revealed that nearly half (44%) of pet owners are unaware that their cats and dogs can suffer from allergies, just like humans.

With allergy season in full bloom, Novartis Animal Health has announced findings from the Pet Allergy Worldwide Survey (PAWS) report, which revealed that nearly half (44%) of pet owners are not aware that their cats and dogs can suffer from allergies, just like humans.

Novartis Animal Health PAWS survey.In addition, 51% of pet owners did not realise that their pets’ allergies are more likely to manifest during the human allergy season, a time of year when pollen and other allergens in the environment can cause distress and irritation for human and animal allergy sufferers alike.

The survey, conducted with more than 1,250 pet owners in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and US, revealed that of the pet owners interviewed, 46% suffer from an allergy themselves, the most common being hay fever. Most of those who have allergies felt more empathy and understanding towards allergic pets as a result.

Other findings include:

  • 43% admitted that they wouldn’t know how to tell if their animal was suffering from an allergy;
  • Fewer than one in three pet owners were aware of one of the most common canine and feline allergic skin diseases: atopic dermatitis in dogs and allergic dermatitis in cats; but
  • 80% of owners said they would like to know more about how to recognise and treat pet allergies.

To help, Novartis has worked with board-certified veterinary dermatologist Claude Favrot, from the University of Zurich, to develop one-minute online tests to help identify cats and dogs that may be suffering from allergies. Available at, the tests based on Dr Favrot’s criteria offer pet owners an opportunity to discuss the findings with their vet.

George Gunn, division head of Novartis Animal Health, said: “People with allergies know how miserable they can feel in springtime. By raising awareness of pet allergies and providing a quick and easy online tool, we hope to help owners recognise the signs of allergic conditions so they can work with their veterinarian to bring year-round relief to their animal companions.”

  • The survey was conducted online and took place between February 15 & 22, 2012.
  • Of the 1,269 pet owners who completed the survey, approximately half had a pet with a diagnosed allergy (618) and the other half (651) had pets who have not been diagnosed, but may have signs of an allergy.
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