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Merck Animal Health Survey Reveals Pet Owners Need Advice Navigating Their Pets' Transition to Normalcy

PR Newswire

MADISON, N.J., June 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the US and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), today announced a new survey1 that unveils the support dog and cat owners are seeking as the country reopens following the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions continue to ease across the United States, individuals are starting to spend more time away from home and potentially, less time with their four-legged companions. Pet parents have spent more time with their dogs and cats than ever before, and now, they are worried about how their pets will handle their inevitable absence after so much time together.


Results from the "Bravo, Buddy" survey revealed that, while the majority of people are looking forward to returning to normal, most pet owners have not taken active steps to prepare their pets for this once-in-a-lifetime transition. The survey uncovered that only 29 percent of pet parents left their pets alone for extended periods of times to prepare them, just seven percent of individuals who will be returning to work in-office have arranged for their pets to go to a daycare facility, and only six percent of dog owners have hired a dog walker.

To help prepare pet parents for the post-pandemic transition with their four-legged friends, Merck Animal Health is partnering with New York City veterinarian Dr. Lisa Lippman to develop a Pet Parent Guide that provides expert advice for owners and their four-legged friends to ease into their new day-to-day routines.

"After spending so much time together this past year, pet parents are clearly anxious about their pet's emotions as they begin to spend more time outside of the home. Those concerns are well-founded, as separation anxiety can impact pets just as it does humans," said Dr. Lisa Lippman, DVM, a New York City-based veterinarian who is one of the most followed and socially influential veterinarians in the country. "The Bravo, Buddy survey shows that owners want to support their pets but may not know the best way to go about easing this once-in-a-lifetime transition. Now, more than ever, we need to be providing pet parents with advice on leaving pets home alone more often and relieving stress through pet care solutions that help people and their animals adjust to their new day-to-day routines."

The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated stay-at-home orders were a difficult time for people across the globe, and pets offered a bright light for owners. The survey revealed that 83 percent of pet owners agree that they have a stronger connection with their pets, 79 percent believe that their pets seem happier and, among those who worked from home, 82 percent feel that spending the workday with their pets improved their mood.

As pet parents prepare to return to "normal," they are spending more time away from home which has caused emotional strain. Pet owners are concerned that their pets will feel sad (67 percent), lonely (67 percent) and abandoned (64 percent) when they're left home along. Pet parents also worry about their own emotional well-being, as 62 percent are upset that they'll be spending less time with their pets, 63 percent feel guilty leaving them alone and 50 percent feel separation anxiety when away from their pets.

Preparing pets for more time home alone is crucial for their well-being, as well as pet parents' peace of mind. To aid in this transition, Merck Animal Health and Dr. Lippman are providing important advice to support pet parents who are getting ready to return to their pre-pandemic daily life. Suggestions from the Pet Parent Guide include:

  • Encouraging pet parents to schedule appointments with their veterinarians, which, the Bravo, Buddy survey shows, fell to the wayside during the pandemic, with 24 percent of dog owners and 20 percent of cat owners reporting that they spent less time taking their pet to the veterinarian. Rescheduling missed appointments is crucial to confirming a pet's vaccinations are up to date and taking recommended preventative health measures.
  • Talking to a veterinarian about how to simplify pets' healthcare needs to fit into increasingly busy schedules, such as considering long-lasting flea and tick protection with BRAVECTO® (fluralaner) Chews for Dogs.
  • Using smart devices, such as the product from pet care technology company, Sure Petcare®, to help with common pet parent concerns. For example, the SureFeed® Microchip Pet Feeder Connect and the Felaqua® Connect allow cat owners to monitor their cat's food and water intake throughout the day; and Sure Petcare's Animo®, is a wearable behavior monitor that tracks dogs' activity levels and gives parents a greater understanding of their pet's health and well-being.
"Based on the findings of our Bravo, Buddy survey and partnership with Dr. Lisa Lippman, Merck Animal Health's new Pet Parent Guide will provide pet owners with concrete solutions to enhance and streamline their pet care routines as they transition back to their daily, post-pandemic lives," said Christine Royal, DVM, Associate Vice President, U.S. Companion Animal and Equine. "While we would all love to continue spending every day with our pets, we know dogs and cats will benefit from the alone time if properly prepared. We are proud to offer pet parents with the guidance and resources they need to ease some of the expected challenges of this transition back to normal, so we can continue caring for the health and well-being of our pets for many years to come."

To spotlight pets and their owners during the transition, Merck Animal Health also announced the #BravoBuddySweepstakes, in which 12 winners will be selected to receive 12 weeks of pet care support. The sweepstakes aims to help pet parents focus less on the stress of leaving their pet home alone and more on the reasons they love coming home to them each day. Pet owners can enter for a chance to win one of the $2,500 prizes by posting a picture or video of their dog or cat on their Instagram, sharing how that pet helped during the pandemic. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes void where prohibited. For complete rules and to obtain more details on the #BravoBuddySweepstakes, visit

Survey Methodology

This online survey of 1,041 owners of either dogs, cats, or both in the U.S. was sponsored by Merck Animal Health and fielded by Toluna from May 26, 2021 to June 2, 2021.

About BRAVECTO® (fluralaner)

Since its introduction in 2014, BRAVECTO has provided longer-lasting flea and tick protection with more than 125 million doses distributed in 85 countries. BRAVECTO is available in a variety of extended-duration formulations, including products for both dogs and cats six months of age or older. One treatment with BRAVECTO Chews for Dogs lasts up to 12 weeks, protects almost three times longer than monthly treatments and is proven to kill fleas on dogs and to eliminate them from the home.[i] BRAVECTO products are only available through licensed veterinarians.

BRAVECTO 1-MONTH Chews are for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations and the treatment and control of tick infestations (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for one month in dogs and puppies eight weeks of age and older and weighing 4.4 pounds or greater. Side effects may include itching, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, elevated ALT, lethargy, and weight loss. BRAVECTO 1-MONTH is not effective against lone star ticks in puppies less than six months of age. Fluralaner is a member of the isoxazoline class. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, ataxia, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving isoxazoline class drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. BRAVECTO 1-MONTH is also indicated for the treatment and control of lone star tick infestations for one month in dogs and puppies six months of age and older and weighing 4.4 pounds or greater.

BRAVECTO Chews are for dogs six months of age or older and weighing 4.4 pounds or greater. BRAVECTO Chews kill adult fleas and are indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations and the treatment and control of tick (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) infestations for 12 weeks. BRAVECTO Chews are also indicated for the treatment and control of lone star tick infestations for eight weeks.

The most commonly reported adverse reactions include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, polydipsia, and flatulence. BRAVECTO Chews for Dogs have not been shown to be effective for 12-weeks' duration in puppies less than six months of age. BRAVECTO Chews are not effective against lone star ticks beyond eight weeks of dosing. Fluralaner is a member of the isoxazoline class. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, ataxia, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving isoxazoline class drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders.

About Merck Animal Health

For 130 years, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn , Facebook, and Twitter at @MerckAH.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the "company") includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company's 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (

1 Data on file.


Media Contact:

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SOURCE Merck & Co., Inc.


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