Insurers have stepped up their cover to ensure distressed dogs are covered, Press Association has reported. According to analysis, more dogs are becoming distressed as their owners return to the office after lockdown.

With many people working from home during the pandemic, many new pets were purchased due to the excess time at home. But now most people are returning to the office, and pets are not used to being left alone.

Pet owners may not realise that their insurance policy could include cover for veterinary treatment for their distressed pets, financial information firm Defaqto said.

Behaviour cover is designed to pay for therapy to treat emotional distress which could be caused by separation anxiety now that some owners are no longer working from home.

Defaqto found more insurers are now offering behaviour cover as part of their pet insurance products, compared with the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly half of dog insurance policies now include full cover for behaviour, compared with 30% in February 2020.

Defaqto cautioned that insurers will exclude cover for claims where the behavioural illness could have been prevented by proper training and socialising.

Brian Brown, consumer finance expert at Defaqto, said: “Dogs provided much-needed companionship for their owners throughout the pandemic and for those that started life in lockdown, they have never known any different.

“It is not surprising then that some dogs are anxious when they are being left alone for the first time and displaying destructive behaviour. The good news is that this is treatable and insurers have stepped up to increase their cover for this.

“Many insurers offer free vet helplines where you can get advice over the phone, even if you don’t have to make a claim. If you find you don’t have insurance cover, speak to the animal charities to get advice.”