Pets make us happier than a partner, survey reveals

Pets can make you happier than a partner and even reduce your stress levels, a survey by pet charity, Blue Cross has found.

Nearly one in three (30%) owners said their pets made them smile more than their partners, while 32% thought their pet was better at making them feel less stressed and 13% even said their pet had stopped rows with a partner.

The survey of nearly 1,300 pet owners was commissioned by Blue Cross to highlight the importance of pets in our lives, especially on a day where thoughts drift to loves ones, for many people their soulmate may be their beloved pet.

More than a quarter of owners (28%) said they thought their pet was better at comforting them than a partner, while 20% said they thought their pet was a better listener.

However, the survey also found that couples had more fun and spent more time together when they had a pet.

Nearly a third of owners (32%) said a pet had helped to bring more fun into their relationship, while nearly a quarter (23%) said it had brought the closer together as a couple and 21% said the pet had led them to spend more time together.

Blue Cross knows the value of pets in our lives and for all the fun and joy, their loss delivers and emotional blow. Sadly 10% of people said they had lost a pet during a break up with a partner, with more than 5% saying they had had to work out visiting hours with an ex.

Diane James, Pet Bereavement Support Service Manager at Blue Cross, said the service often received calls from owners for advice after a relationship breakdown as losing a pet in this way can provide the same grief and confusion as mourning their death.

Diane said: “Just the comforting patter of paws in a home can make us feel safe, secure and loved – exactly what kind of emotions are conjured up on Valentine’s Day. Pets can help us in so many way from calming and supporting us to comforting us and making us smile and laugh. They really are part of the family.

“However, for those couples who have had to go through a breakup it can be double blow to face the devastation of not only losing a partner but a much-loved pet. We also receive calls from owners who have lost a pet that they felt was the last link to a loved one and the loss is like losing them again for that person. Our pets really do mean so much to us.”

Blue Cross’s Pet Bereavement Support Service is part of a range of services run by the pet charity and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The service, which runs 365 days a year, provides support through a confidential telephone helpline and email service. Last year the PBSS team took more than 10,000 calls and answered over 5,000 emails.

If you have lost a pet of know someone who could benefit from the Blue Cross pet Bereavement Service contact 0800 096 6606 or find out more at www.bluecross.org.uk.