Poll reveals positive impact of pets

Pet owners reveal their pets have a positive effect on their overall wellbeing with 94% having a positive impact on their health, study reveals.

The poll of pet owners found their four-legged friends make their feel happier (89%), but more than four in 10 don’t have insurance on their pets.

Nearly half (45%) also enjoy the unconditional love their pets provide, while 34% feel their wellbeing is improved as pets help encourage them to get outside every day (34%).

The M&S Bank Pet Insurance research commissioned for National Pet Month also found that furry friends bring joy to their owners on a day-to-day basis by providing companionship and being a source of laughter.

One in five pet owners credit their pets with helping them to meet new people and as a result 89% of those polled consider their pet to be a key member of the family.

However, 44% don’t have insurance to help cover the cost of treatment should their beloved companion become ill or injured, with 22% saying they wouldn’t be able to cover the £817 average cost of a pet insurance claim.

Reasons for not taking out pet insurance included seeing it as an unnecessary expense (32%), not feeling they need it (21%) and simply not getting around to purchasing it (13%).

Paul Stokes from M&S Pet Insurance said: “Britain is known to be a nation of animal lovers and our research certainly seems to reaffirm that. It’s great to see the many different ways our beloved pets positively improve our wellbeing and bring us happiness – this goes to show how important they are to millions of people across the UK.

“Having a happy, healthy pet is a top priority for every pet owner but coping with an unexpected veterinary bill can be different. Having pet insurance in place can help to take away this worry.”

Top 10 ways owners say their pet improves their wellbeing:

1 They make me feel happier

2 Offer me companionship

3 Make me laugh

4 They make me feel calmer

5 Help take my mind off things

6 Know they love me unconditionally

7 Bring positivity to my life

8 Help me get outside every day

9 Help me appreciate the small things in life

10 Help me stick to a daily routine