It’s often talked about, but is it really true? Do pets make us happier, really?
Well, it’s April and yes, it’s National Pet Month, or so I’ve been led to believe. I never knew there was such a month. Is this the case every April? My, how we live and learn.
Anyway, in celebration of said National Pet Month, researchers have been asking pet owners about their thoughts. Would you believe it, 83% of them think that having a pet really does improve our general wellbeing.
The winners by a mile were dogs. The mutts come out way on top as the best creature to make us feel the happiest (47%). The mogs come second at 24%. Now here’s a result that made me smile… Men were the ones who reported the greatest effect in the happy-stakes with 43% of them stating that their pet makes them feel happier than family, friends or indeed anything else. I don’t know how to read into that!
If a bad day at work leaves you foaming at the mouth and wanting to smash the closest inanimate object, then apparently, spending time with your dog or cat can instantly soothe you and reduce your anxiety levels. Over 60% of owners believe that pets make us happier, more relaxed and less stressed.
Perhaps it’s their unconditional devotion and love that flicks the switch. They’re always pleased to see you, they make you laugh and they’re ‘cuddly’ (not my words, honest!). They give you a sense of purpose and self-worth. Not only that, they’re a very good excuse for getting off the sofa and out for a walk in the great outdoors every day.
Why do UK Households Get a Pet in the First Place?
These are the responses from the participants:
1. I’ve just always had a pet and can’t imagine not having one – 45%
2. The companionship and love that they give – 42%
3. My children or family wanted one – I gave in! – 31%
4. I wanted to rescue one from a local centre – 19%
5. The security and support they provide – 19%
Claire Miller, Head Vet at Natures Menu, said: “It’s widely known that animals do wonders for our emotional and physical health, so it’s great to see that as a nation we really do believe that they are great for our overall happiness. Whilst pets can help to boost our mood, of course, we also need to ensure that they are happy too. A diet that’s high in nutritional value and is balanced, combined with plenty of exercise will ensure that they thrive.
“Look out for a wagging tail in response to human contact from your pooch or a kitty settling on your lap. These are clear indications that you make your pet as happy as they make you!”