Pets really do make us happy, according to research

According to research released to mark National Pet Month, over 83% of people say owning a pet has improved their happiness and wellbeing.

A study of UK pet owners * commissioned by raw and natural food experts, Natures Menu revealed that nearly half of us believe that our four-legged friends make us feel ‘pawsitively’ happy and have serious mood-lifting powers.

Dogs come out on top as the best pet to make us feel happiest (47%), followed by our feline friends (24%). Pets also topped the board for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%) and friends (12%).

Spending time with you dog or cat can instantly soothe us and reduce anxiety levels with nearly 60% of people believing that they can make us feel more relaxed, and less stressed.

As well as our mental wellbeing, a dog can also be good for our physical health as one in three of us (33%) admit that our furry-friends encourage us to go out for a walk regularly.

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:

  1. I’ve 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. While pets can help to boost our mood, of course, we also need to ensure that they are happy to. A diet that’s high in nutritional value and is balanced, combined with plenty of exercise will ensure that they thrive.”

Natures Menu pet food is packed with real, human grade meat and perfectly balanced to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. For more information visit

*Research by The Leadership Factor conducted in March 2018 with 1,001 UK pet owners. **Calculated using data of UK population of cats and dogs – PFMA Pet Population Report 2017.