Fear of Fireworks Study
Welcome to the Dog Fear of Fireworks Study
Vet-AI, the company behind Joii Pet Care, have partnered with a plug-in pheromone diffuser manufacturer (CEVA) to evaluate their product (Adaptil), specifically made for dogs with different types of fear problems. It has already been proven to be beneficial for dogs with separation anxiety(1). We want to find out if the plug-in diffuser can help to manage signs of fear of loud noises (fireworks in this case) in dogs. To do this we will send the test product to half of the participants, and a harmless placebo plug-in diffuser to the other half. We have to test the product against a placebo to ensure that we know that any benefit seen is because of the pheromone product. The study will run between now and January 2023.
Please read this carefully and contact us if you would like to discuss anything in detail. You should only agree to take part if you want to. If you decide not to participate this will not affect your relationship with Vet-AI or the veterinary treatment of your pet via Joii.
The questions in the pre-screening questionnaire will mark your interest in the study and help us understand the level of fear your dog has when exposed to fireworks. If your dog is accepted you’ll need to download the Joii Pet Care app (if you don’t already have it), and register your dog. Before your health check with a vet via the Joii app, we will ask you to accept the terms and conditions and a few questions about your dog’s health and any medications they may be on. You’ll then be ready for your video appointment with one of our vets. They will assess your dog’s health and check if they are pain free in order to be accepted into the study. If your dog is eligible, we will then send you the plug-in product, (you will not know if you are getting the test product or the placebo, and we cannot tell you this). This will all be free of charge to you. We will also send you return packaging and postage label as the diffuser and product bottle need to be returned at the end of the study.
During your video consultation with a vet, via the Joii app, the vet will introduce you to the study and answer any questions you may have about the process. Make sure your dog is with you when you join the call.
We will ask you to fill in questionnaires in the app at several points during the study.
Here is a summary of the timeline and of what is expected of you:
- Sign up to the study - Accept the terms and conditions and fill in the screening questionnaire. If your dog can enter the study you will then be invited to attend a vet consultation within the Joii app.
- Download the Joii app (from The App Store or Google Play ) and register your dog with Joii.
- 5th November - 9th December: Attend a video consultation with a vet in Joii. There will be a short questionnaire to answer and reconfirm you accept the terms and conditions before speaking to the vet.
- 10-16th December: Take a one minute video of your dog’s behaviour and upload it via the Joii app, and fill in the baseline questionnaire in the Joii app. You will receive the plug-in device during this time.
- 17th December: Plug your device in, following the instructions within the device check questionnaire in the Joii app. Remember to keep the return packaging & label.
- 29th December: Take a one minute video of your dog’s behaviour and upload it via the Joii app, and fill-in the pre-event questionnaire in the Joii app.
- 31st December - 1st January: Take a one minute video of your dog’s behaviour during a fireworks display and upload it via the Joii app, then fill in the event questionnaire in the Joii app. Please note that you are expected to spend this period at home with your dog, in the room where the device is plugged in. You will have access to emergency tips and a free consultation with a vet if your dog is struggling with fear of fireworks.
- 3rd January: Take a one minute video of your dog’s behaviour and upload it via the Joii app. and fill in the post-event questionnaire in the Joii app.
- Return your device and its refill bottle to us using the prepaid packaging by the 15th of January. Confirm this is done in a questionnaire in the Joii app.
- Receive your thank you reward for completing the study (a £40 voucher and an Adaptil plug-in diffuser to help with your dog’s loud noise fear).
You must follow the plug-in diffuser instructions. This means you must plug it in in the room in your house where your dog spends most of its time, and where they will be on New Year’s Eve. The diffuser must stay plugged-in and not turned off for longer than 12 hours. If the plug-in diffuser and study instructions are not followed properly, this will stop us from knowing if this diffuser can truly help your dog and others dogs in future that suffer from noise phobia anxiety.
You should not have another dog living in the home and you are not allowed to have any other dogs present in your home at the time of the questionnaires (10th-16th December, 17th, 29th, 31st December, 3rd January). This is important because dogs can have an effect on other dog’s behaviour and this will make results of the study meaningless.
During the video consultation with a vet, they will discuss with you the use of medication for behavioural or anxiety related problems, other pheromonal products, homoeopathic remedies, aromatherapy, supplements, special foods or special vests for behaviour associated problems. They will also want to know about any other medications your dog may be on. Please have all of these ready to show the vet.
We will support you and send you reminders about your appointment and all your questionnaires and videos at the various timings.
You will be invited to participate in a survey at the end of the study, and you are required to send back the device and plug-in refill used during the programme. Once we have received this back, we will deliver your thank you £40 reward voucher via email and a thank you pheromone plug-in containing the real product (Adaptil).
Please read our FAQs on the following page, followed by our terms and conditions.
We look forward to seeing you in the Joii app. For any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for being part of the Joii community.
The team at Joii Pet Care
(1) Kim YM, Lee JK, Abd el-aty AM, Hwang SH, Lee JH, Lee SM. Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) for ameliorating separation-related behavioral signs in hospitalized dogs. Can Vet J. 2010 Apr;51(4):380-4. PMID: 20592826; PMCID: PMC2839826.
Why are you running this study?
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the pheromone plug-in in reducing the behaviour associated with fear of noise, such as fireworks, in your dog.
Why will you ask me questions?
We need to ask questions to have some background information about your dog and their behaviour in order to understand as much as we can about them. We will do this through Joii app questionnaires and during the video consultation with the vet.
We will ask about their normal behaviour and about their behaviour in previous New Year’s Eves during the fireworks. We will also ask about any previous treatments you may have used. We will ask you in the questionnaires to use a scale to mark the severity of certain signs and behaviours. All of this information helps us to build a picture to understand if the pheromone plug-in can really help reduce the fearful behaviour associated with fireworks.
Do I have to pay?
No, the device is provided to you for free. We will also provide you with pre-paid packaging and postage to return the device back to us at the end of the study period. Your health check with a vet is also free. If your pet needs any additional products or medicines for their health as a result of a veterinary consultation, these will be charged for at the standard rates. You have access to vet video calls via the Joii app at any time of day or night (free of charge if you are insured with one of our insurance partners (Animal Friends, Asda and Purely Pets); or if not insured, for £24 pet vet video call 24/7, vet nurse video calls are free).
What will happen to the results of the study?
The plug-in pheromone diffuser manufacturer may decide to publish the results and to use them in promotional materials. All answers to the questions will be kept strictly confidential. Your personal details and dog’s name will not be shared with the manufacturer. Results from the study may be printed in veterinary journals and also in the non-veterinary press, but you and your dog will not be identifiable from any published work.
Do I have to be a Joii customer to participate?
Yes, you’ll need to have the Joii app downloaded and have registered your dog. Clients that are insured with our partners get free of charge vet video consultations 24/7 via Joii, as part of their insurance benefits. Consults with a vet cost £24 for animals not insured with partner companies. During the study period, you will have access to two free consultations with a vet - the first one to enrol you in the study (all dogs have to be checked), the second (optional) one on New Year’s Eve via our in-app programme support if you need support for your dog during firework displays.
Will a vet be able to give me advice on my dog's health?
Yes. During the video consultation with your Joii vet you can ask for advice. In some instances our vets may recommend referral into a physical veterinary practice. These circumstances may arise from your dog needing an in-person physical exam or prescription medication. If you are worried about your dog's health at any point during this study, it is best to seek advice from a vet. You can request a vet video consultation instantly via the Joii app or make an appointment to speak with your usual vet practice.
What happens if I don’t answer a questionnaire on time?
Not answering a questionnaire on time will make you lose access to the study and be withdrawn. We will send you several push notifications to remind you to take the videos and fill in the questionnaires. These will be followed by an SMS and an email if we notice they haven’t yet been completed and you are running out of time. But should you end up in a situation where you just couldn’t do it, please email us on email@example.com and we will see what we can do. It is very important that you have a video of your dog from the day the questionnaire was due, taken in the evening, after they had their walk and dinner. Please make sure your push notifications are on for the Joii app.
My dog lives outdoors, is this a problem?
If your dog lives outdoors only, unfortunately they will not be able to participate in the study. This is because they won’t be kept in a room with the plug-in diffuser, meaning the results will not be beneficial for this study.
What happens if my dog becomes pregnant?
If your dog becomes pregnant, you must notify us and they will be withdrawn from the study, without penalty.
Does this pheromone device pose any risks to my dog, myself and my family or my other pets?
No, all products are completely safe for dogs, humans and other animals. The pheromone plug-in device has been used by millions of dogs worldwide and no issues have been observed during trials and extensive consumer surveys. The pheromones used are specific to dogs, so they are only perceived by other dogs, not by people. The diffusers comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), European Norms (EN) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) required standards. The plastic materials used are self-extinguishing (V2 grade). We ask that if any member of your household suffers from respiratory diseases, such as asthma, allergies or COPD, that you do not participate, just to be on the safe side.
If you do notice an effect from the product on yourself or a member of your family (including other pets) please contact the manufacturer CEVA directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if my dog's health declines during the study period?
If your dog’s health declines during the study period we’d ask you to inform us as soon as possible, as they may no longer be fit to participate in the study. The best way to do this is to notify us in the Joii app, via a video call with a vet. Alternatively, you can email us on email@example.com
What happens if my dog passes away or needs to be put to sleep (euthanised) during the study period?
In the sad event that your pet dies or is put to sleep (euthanised) during the study period we’d ask you to inform us as soon as possible . The best way to do this is to notify us in the Joii app, via a video call with a vet, alternatively you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org
How will the data be stored?
Videos and clinical information obtained during the study may be retained for at least five years and possibly used in future research projects, and for training and education purposes. All data will be stored in a secure database only accessible by people working on the study. All of the data collected during the study will be shared with the plug-in pheromone diffuser manufacturer (but not your personal details, your dog’s name, or the videos). Please note that any video consultation taken in your home will be visible to us. If you are unhappy with this you can request to have your data (the video and data) removed and permanently deleted without penalty to yourself.
What if I change my mind?
If you decide you want to withdraw from the study, you may do so without explanation, and without penalty (your ability to use of Joii products and services will not be affected). Any information you have given can be destroyed. If you do wish to withdraw, please let one of our vets or nurses know, or email us at email@example.com.
What happens if I don’t have the device plugged in, if I turn it off and forget to turn it back on or if we are not in the same room where it is plugged in?
If the device is not plugged in or is disconnected at any point of the study for longer than 12h, your dog will unfortunately have to be excluded from the study as we won’t be able to evaluate the effects of the product or the placebo on your dog.
What happens if I go away for a few days over Christmas and my dog comes with me/goes to kennels?
If you are travelling over this holiday period and you plan to stay away from your home for longer than 12 hours with your dog, this will mean that your dog will unfortunately have to be excluded from the study, as it will impact the effect of the product on your dog.
Can I have another dog staying for New Year's?
Unfortunately, your dog cannot have doggy friends staying during the period as their behaviour will be affected. This would exclude your dog from the study.
Will the product affect my cat/rabbit/parrot/bird/other pet?
No, the pheromones are species specific, which means that only dogs can sense them and it will only affect their behaviour.
My pet is on medication long-term, are they able to take part?
Certain medications have an effect on your dog’s behaviour. Please discuss your dog’s medication with one of our vets during your vet consultation via the Joii app. Alternatively, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what medication your dog is on. If your dog is on medication for behavioural or anxiety problems they may have to be excluded from this study.
What should I do if my dog is struggling with anxiety during New Year’s fireworks, even if I have the device plugged in?
If your dog is showing signs of anxiety despite being in the same room where the device is plugged in, we advise you to follow these steps:
- Don’t punish your dog when he is scared, it makes you an additional thing to be concerned about
- Make sure your dog is kept in a safe and secure environment at all times so that they don’t bolt and escape if a sudden noise occurs
- Try to move your dog to a blacked out room. This removes the potentially additional problems of flashing lights, etc. Give them access to toys, their bed and blankets. This will be comforting to them. Make sure you have something to do too and stay in the room with them
- Provide your pet with a safe haven, such as a crate (if they are crate trained), the cupboard under the stairs or a wardrobe. Pack the area with old pillows and duvets to make it comfortable and muffle the noise around
- Ignore the noises yourself and try to engage your pet in some form of active game
- If they are really struggling, you can mask the firework noises by putting the radio or tv on.
- Follow the advice on the emergency support link. This will direct you to a video call with a vet if you have tried everything and your dog is still struggling. This emergency consultation with a vet is free of charge for all study participants.
(1) Video calls with a vet are free to all the pets insured with our partners Animal Friends Insurance, Asda and Purely Pets. Video calls with a vet cost £24 for pets who are not insured with our partners.
Terms & Conditions
When you are registered in the Joii app you will be asked to agree to the following:
Noise Phobia behaviour in Dogs by Joii Petcare (“you” or “Joii”) Key Details
I have been provided with details of the upcoming study, relating to the Treatment, described in the Information Sheet (the "Study"). I fully understand the scope of the Study and wish to participate with my dog. Additionally:
- I confirm that I am the owner of the dog.
- I confirm that I have read and understood the Information Sheet for the Study. I have had the opportunity to consider the information, ask questions and have had these answered satisfactorily. I understand that certain risks relating to the Treatment may be described in the Information Sheet and I understand and accept these risks.
- I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving any reason, and without penalty.
- I confirm that I wish to take part in the above Study with my dog.
- I am aware that if anyone in the household has asthma, COPD or a respiratory problem, that my dog cannot take part in the study.
- I give permission for the Joii team to inform my registered veterinary practice that my dog is participating in the study and to request and provide clinical history updates from and to them regarding my dog’s condition during the study.
- I agree and understand that for as long as I participate in the Study I will/must:
- Receive the Treatment at no charge
- Complete associated questionnaires and provide videos of my pet before, during and after the Study if requested.
- Follow the instructions to plug in the device and use it appropriately.
- Keep the device plugged in at all times in the room where my dog spends most of the time and where they will be during the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
- Keep my dog off any homoeopathic remedies, pheromones, oil aromatherapy, nutraceuticals, special diets or specific vest for behaviour associated problems 6 weeks before New Year’s Eve.
- Provide the Joii team with feedback on my pet’s behaviour and response to management (before, during and after the study)
- Notify Joii vets/ vet nurses as soon as possible if I am concerned about my pet’s participation in the Study or my pet’s health, or if my pet becomes pregnant, or if my pet does not have access to the room where the device is for longer than 12 hours, or dies/is euthanized at any point.
- Provide honest feedback of my pet's experience and complete all the questionnaires as requested
- Return the plug-in device and the refill bottle in the provided pre-paid packaging at the end of the study period.
- I agree and understand that the Study is entirely voluntary and unpaid. To the fullest extent permitted by law, I agree to exclude all liability for any financial or other costs or losses that I may suffer as a result of participation in this Study. In the unlikely event my pet suffers any ill effects from participation I accept that it is my responsibility to stop the Study immediately and seek advice from a pet care professional.
I understand that at any time the Study may be discontinued at your sole discretion. If you need to contact us, please email email@example.com.
If you need to contact our Data Protection Officer please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.