Nearly half of us believe that our four-legged friends make us feel ‘pawsitively’ happy and have serious mood-lifting powers according to research released ttheir week to mark National Pet Month.
A study of UK pet owners*commissioned by raw and natural food experts, Natures Menu, has revealed that more than four fifths (83%) think that having a pet really does improve our general wellbeing.
Dogs come out on top as the best creature to make us feel the happiest (47%), followed by our feline friends (24%). Pets also topped the board for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%), friends (12%) and other (3%).
If we’ve had a bad day at work, spending time with your dog or cat can instantly soothe us and reduce anxiety levels with nearly 60% of us believing that they can make us feel more relaxed, and less stressed. Other ways they positively impact our health and happiness include their unconditional love and the fact that they are always happy to see us (54%), their cuddliness and enjoyment they provide outside of work (43%), and the sense of purpose and self-worth they give us (34%).
A pooch can also be good for our health as one in three of us (33%) admit that our furry-friends encourage us to go out for a walk and enjoy the great outdoors.
With 12 million UK households owning a pet, here are the top five reasons why we decide to get a pet in the first place:
- I’ve just always had a pet and can’t imagine not having one – 45%
- The companionship and love that they give – 42%
- My children or family wanted one – I gave in! – 31%
- I wanted to rescue one from a local centre – 19%
- 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!”