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6 Benefits of having a pet


6 Benefits of having a pet
This article contains: Dog

6 Benefits of having a pet

Thinking of getting a pet? Find the right pet at the right time and the benefits for you both will be endless. Discover more about the positive impact of pet ownership with these handy facts and figures.

There are lots of reasons to get a cat or a dog, besides the obvious cuteness factor. Our Pet Census 2018 found that 41% of owners referred to their pet as their best friend, and 44% call their pet their ‘baby’. If you’re thinking ‘Should I get a dog or cat?’ or ‘Should I get a pet at all?’ these six other benefits of pet ownership might nudge you a little nearer to a decision.

1. Are pet owners healthier than non-pet owners?

Infographic: 20% higher activity levels in dog walkers vs non-dog walkers img

 

Anyone for walkies? A small UK study found that dog owners were more active than those without a dog (30 minutes more activity per day than those without a dog). It’s unknown whether cat ownership does the same thing, unless you count walking from room to room trying to get them to notice you.


2. Why every kid should own a pet

Infographic: 49% vs 23% - incidence of allergies in children from pet-free homes vs those with three pets img

 

Not only are pets a great companion, pet ownership could also help reduce allergies in children, as one recent study found that instances of childhood allergies were lower in pet-owning homes. The positive impact was seemingly increased by the number of pets they had. Of course, if your child already has allergies, you should consult your doctor.


3. Are pet owners happier than non-pet owners?

Infographic: 20-140 Hz - the frequency of a cat’s purr img

 

Is there anything more soothing than a lapful of warm cat? Cuddles and quality time with your pet will release happiness hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin, especially if they’re letting out a deep, resonant purr. Of course, cats can be a bit aloof – so if it’s affection you’re after, you may be better off with a dog that’s content to be petted whenever you call. Or create your purr-fect soundtrack with this internet cat.


4. Psychological benefits of owning a pet

Infographic: Pet owners are 2 x more likely to consider themselves a success img

 

According to a survey of British dog and cat owners over 55 years old, people with pets are twice as likely to consider themselves a success. Of course, there are lots of other factors that can affect this – such as wealth and health – but nonetheless, there are plenty of charities that believe in the psychological benefits of owning a pet.


5. Pets could make you physically healthier

Infographic: 30% lower heart attack risk for cat owners img

 

Did someone call a dog-tor? Terrible jokes aside, there is some evidence to suggest that pets reduce stress and may mean fewer heart problems for you. Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and epileptic episodes, and animals are also increasingly used in hospitals to comfort patients. After you’ve had your dog or cat for six months, you may even be able to register it as a therapy animal.


6. What do people get out of owning a dog?

Infographic: 22% of dog owners have been asked out while walking their dog img

 

For anyone who thinks Lady and the Tramp is the height of romance, we have good news. Dogs could actually help you find love. Walking your pet helps you meet more people and find a common interest, plus talking about them is sure to show your warm, passionate side. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the Kennel Club has reported romantic benefits to adopting a dog.

There you have it: six simple reasons to get a pet that you can forward immediately to your family, housemates, partner or anyone else who might be interested! Remember though, a pet will only make you happy if you’re ready and willing to look after it, so be sure to do your research.


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