Is there a link between pets and the health of their owners?

Is there a link between pets and the health of their owners?

All pet owners will agree that a pet is way more than just a pet. They’re part of our families, our best buddies and often, our confidants. And a lot of the time, they make us smile and laugh in ways our human companions cannot!

Whether you own a cat or a dog, or you’re lucky enough to have a number of animals at your home, you’ll want to make sure they’re all covered with pet insurance.

Go Get it the UK's only dedicated pet insurance comparison website that works hand in hand with a specialist panel of leading providers. We’ll take the time to understand your and your pets’ needs before showing you the right policy, for a great price.

 

The many benefits of owning a pet

If you need an excuse to give a cat or dog a ‘furever’ home, then all you need to do is look at studies highlighting the health benefits of having a pet.

Of course, it really goes without saying that owning a pet – particularly a bigger one – requires a lot of your time, love and attention. But what you get from it is a loyal companion and a wonderful new addition to your family!

Research has linked pet ownership to improvements in both the physical and mental wellbeing of their owners. Let’s start with physical health:

 

Longer, healthier lives

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, there are a wealth of studies linking pet ownership to a longer and healthier life. Mother Nature Network cites a few in a blog post – they include:

 

  • A 2017 study of 3.4 million people in Sweden found that for people who lived alone, owning a dog cut their risk of death by 33% and cardiovascular-related death by 36%, compared to single people who didn’t own a pet.

 

  • A study of over 2,000 adults uncovered that dog walkers (perhaps unsurprisingly) get more exercise and were less likely to be overweight than people who didn’t walk a dog.

 

  • Research shows that dog walkers aged between 71 and 82 walk faster and were more mobile at home.

 

  • A 10-year study showed that current and former cat owners were 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 30% less likely to die of another cardiovascular disease.

 

These statistics certainly aren’t to be sniffed at. Perhaps surprisingly, pets have even been discovered to limit allergies and improve immune function. At least this was the finding of a 2007 study, which revealed that newborns who lived with cats were less likely to develop conditions like pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis during childhood.

A child petting a cat sitting down in a living room

How pets support mental wellbeing

As the Mental Health Foundation website explains, the companionship a pet offers is the perfect way to limit feelings of anxiety and stress. In many ways, then, pets can help us to lead mentally healthier lives.

The website targets particular areas where a pet could provide support. They include:

 

  • Pooches in particular inspire people to get out and exercise more, which can be very beneficial for people suffering from depression. Caring for pets gives owners a sense of purpose and achievement, helping them feel valued and needed.

 

  • Walking a dog can be an incredibly sociable activity, encouraging people to meet and speak with fellow owners. Who knows, you might meet someone willing to be your dog walking partner!

 

  • A pet could provide much-needed company for older people or people who live alone, also giving them a sense of security.

 

A happier, more fulfilled (and more successful?) you!

A very recent study cited by the Independent claims that owning a pet boosts your chances not just of being happy, but also successful.

OnePoll.com quizzed 1,000 dog and cat owners aged over 55, and 1,000 people who didn’t own a pet. It found that those with a furry friend were twice as likely to consider themselves successful – and be married, have a child, a university degree and found their perfect job. That’s a lot of extra benefits to the ones we mentioned above!

And those benefits don’t stop there. Pet owners were more likely to go on a dream holiday and do their bit by volunteering for a charity. They also did almost twice the amount of exercise than their non-pet-owning counterparts, with nine in 10 believing their companion is good for their overall health.

In comparison, respondents who didn’t own a pet were more likely to have paid their mortgage off (69% vs 60%) and retire earlier (46% vs 35%).

 

Which pets improve owner health the most?

Naturally, it’s the pets that require more of your attention that are likely to have the biggest impact on your health and wellbeing.

Dogs are loyal to their owners and require a good deal of exercise every day, so owning one is bound to have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.

But felines can improve your health, too. Even the act of petting a cat can significantly reduce stress levels, which could go on to have long-term benefits for your health.

Man walking his two dogs down a dirt path in a wooded area

Compare Pet Insurance with Go Get It

If you’ve been won over by the many benefits of owning a pet, remember that you’ll need to take out pet insurance to keep them, and your finances, protected.

Whether you become the owner of a canine companion or pussycat pal, Go Get It is your trusted pet insurance comparison website. We’ll get quotes from our specialist panel of providers so you can pick the policy that’s best for you.

We compare separate cat or dog insurance policies, as well as multi-pet insurance. Choose multi-pet cover and you could get a discount for insuring your animals under a single policy. Having insurance in place means that if your pet becomes ill or injured, you won’t find yourself out of pocket.

With Go Get It’s pet insurance comparison website, you can compare accident only, maximum benefit, time-limited and lifetime cover policies. There’s no age limit and our service is totally free. Get a no-obligation quote today!

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