Brits spend 7.5 hours a day with their pet, says new research

New research reveals that people are buying pets to be their best friends and provide unconditional love.

The research highlights how pets are central to their owners’ happiness, with nine out of 10 (88%) owners claiming they bought their four-legged friend for companionship.

The research by The Pet Health Club also found that more than one in 10 (13%) of animal lovers said they bought a pet instead of having a baby.

To celebrate the emotional and practical role pets play in their owners’ lives, the Pet Health Club is launching a national competition to find the UK’s Pet Hero of the Year.

Did your cat comfort you after the death of a loved one? Perhaps your rabbit alerted you to an intruder with their excellent hearing. Has your dog detected an illness that you weren’t aware of? Whatever it is that makes a pet extra special, The Pet Health Club wants to know.

TV Vet, Rory Cowlam, said: “Pets sit at the heart of families with half of us having a fluffy friend. Our animals are there for us in good times and bad, always there to lend a helping paw when times get tough. It’s no surprise to me that The Pet Health Club found that we think of pets as part of the family, I certainly think of my cat Tripod as mine.

“I’m really excited to be involved in The Pet Health Club’s search for the Pet Hero of the year. There are so many amazing animals that have done incredibly things to help their owners. We are looking for courageous cats, daring dogs and reassuring rabbits to enter our competition. If you think your animal has done something heroic let us know.”

Brits are spending significant quality time with pets, dedicating 7.5 hours a day with their furry friends. During this time 8% of pet owners tell all of their worries to their animal and 5% say they depend on their pet for support.

Furry pals are compensated for their loyal service to their owners as 78% say they would rather buy a treat for their pet than themselves.

Rory provides five top tips for keeping your pet in paw-some condition:

  1. Paw-lympic training – animals need lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy. The amount of exercise needed is dependent on what type of pet you have any what breed they are. Be sure to research what activity your furry friend requires. Getting moving outdoors will help to keep you both in shape too.
  2. Healthy hounds – to keep your beloved animal in pur-fect condition, it’s important to ensure they have regular health checks and you keep up-to-date with their vaccinations. Monthly flea treatments and working treatment every three months are also a must for paw-sitively healthy pets.
  3. Top teeth – it can be hard to get your four-legged friend to stay still for long enough to brush their teeth. However, keeping on top of oral hygiene is key for healthy pets. If you find brushing your animal’s teeth too hard, try using chew toys or dental sticks to maintain pearly whites.
  4. Pampered pooches – we often get carried away showing our fur babies how much we love them with extra treats or too much food. However, animal obesity is a serious issue and can lead to health concerns for our best buds. Manage portion sizes and try to make treats occasional.
  5. Playtime – animals are just like us and get lonely too. Our research found that pet owners are spending 7.5 hours a day with their pet. Make sure you too are dedicating some time to playing with your fluffy pal each day. Studies have found that spending time with pets relieves stress and increase energy and happiness, so devoting some time to your friend will be beneficial to you as well/

If you would like to enter the competition you can email The Pet Health Club on hero@thepethealthclub or share a photo of your dog, cat or rabbit on their social channels, using #PHChero.

The winner will receive an annual membership to The Pet Health Club and one year’s supply of pet food. For more information including terms and conditions, you can visit www.pethealthclub.co.uk/pet-hero.