It’s official: People and pets are better together
When we think about the benefits of people and pets together, cuddles, long walks and those looks that we just can’t resist all spring to mind. But did you know that the relationship you have with your pet could save you money, stress and even your life? Despite 60% of Brits owning pets, it seems many of us are unaware of the health benefits that our four-legged friends bring to our lives.
Cute, and keeping us healthy
Purina recently conducted a “Better with Pets” research project as part of Purina in Society, a movement which aims to show how increasing contact between people and pets improves everyone’s lives. During the study, it was found that pets have an enormous amount of positive benefits to offer, including:
• Dogs can be trained to detect the early stages of cancer
• The level of job satisfaction is higher for people who bring their dog to work
• Pets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol
• Dogs can be trained to turn on lights
• Dogs can be trained to cross a road safely alone
• Pets can have positive effects on self-esteem
• Dogs can help autistic children to express themselves
• Pets can decrease the risk of childhood anxiety and boost a child’s confidence
• Dogs can be trained to alert their owner before they have a seizure
• Dogs and cats can help improve the physical, mental and societal wellbeing of the elderly
It would appear that pet owners agree: 3 in 5 people said that their pet improved their health and wellbeing, and a staggering 97% confirmed that a pet had a positive impact on their mental health.
Benefits you can take to the bank
Pets also have a positive effect on your wallet as well as your wellbeing. During our survey, pet owners claimed that they saved an average of £322 on healthcare costs a year, thanks to the positive benefits of their pets, with 10% saving over £500.
So if a pet has a lifespan of around 12 years you could save a total of £6,000 - not a bad bonus on top of a lifetime of love and cuddles with your four-legged friend!
It’s not just our own bank accounts that benefit, as pet ownership can save the NHS an impressive £2.5 billion a year thanks to the restorative properties of pet related therapy.
A positive effect in the Internet age
The pros of pet ownership aren’t restricted by age. At a time when it seems 16-24 year olds are more interested in the digital world than the real world, 62% of them admit they prefer a social life with their pet rather than spending more time on social media platforms.
It seems that everyone else agrees, with 7 out of 10 people preferring to spend time with their pet instead of online.
Breaking down barriers to pet ownership
Despite the almost endless list of health benefits, almost half of us don’t currently share our lives with a pet. According to the survey, some of the biggest barriers to owning a pet are not being able to take a pet to work (28%) and landlords not allowing pets (14%). If these obstacles were removed, almost two thirds of people would get a pet and start experiencing the benefits that bonding with a pet can bring.
That’s why Purina are launching Purina in Society –our 10 commitment initiative, to help create a future where pets and people can be better together. Our commitments include promoting responsible pet ownership, enabling people to spend time with pets in the workplace and encouraging pet adoption. Each measurable action aims to promote the benefits of pet ownership, to make it easier for everyone to enjoy the special bond that people have with pets.
Join the conversation using #WeAreBetterWithPets and share your support for the cause.