According to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association, 46% of British households have a pet. That’s almost half of all households in the UK. Owning a pet is a great responsibility, but it can also be very rewarding. Here are ten reasons why owning a pet is a good idea.

Gives you a sense of purpose

If you have a pet, you need to look after it. It will need feeding and grooming, which will give you a routine. It’s especially important if you live on your own to have a purpose otherwise you might end up sitting in a chair all day. Even if you have a cat or a bird, that doesn’t need walking, they still need to fed and given affection.

Senior woman with her dog inside of her house.

Improves your health

The Pet Health Council say that owning a pet helps to prevent heart disease because pet owners have been found to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Relaxing with a pet helps your heart and therefore improves your health.

Gets you out and about

If you have an animal, it will need feeding, which means you need to get out to the shops and buy food. This gets you out of the house and gives you the opportunity to see other people, even if it’s only to say a quick hello or make a comment about the weather to the check-out assistant.

Makes you exercise

If you have a dog, you will have to take it out twice a day for a walk. Walking will not only help you to stay healthy, but it will also keep your dog fit too. A good walk a day will help you to maintain your weight and keep your strength up.

Helps you meet other people

Owning a pet is a great way to get talking to other people. Owning a dog makes conversation easier, because you will have your dog with you when you’re out and about. If you’re a cat lover, there might be a cat club in your area, like the Essex cat club, who welcome people with pedigree and non-pedigree cats. If you keep fish have a look for Aquarists Societies in your area.

Gives you companionship

If you live alone, a pet will give you companionship. They love you whatever and they are always there when you need them. You’ll have someone to cuddle whilst you’re watching the TV and the house won’t be empty when you walk through the door because you’ll have your pet waiting for attention.

Reduces stress

Owning a pet is said to reduce your stress levels. Stroking an animal’s fur reduces blood pressure and relaxes you, making you feel less stressed immediately. Stroking your cat or dog when you are feeling anxious or nervous is said to help people a great deal.

Helps depression

Owning a pet is said to help with depression because animals will give you unconditional love and if you are feeling lonely, touching your pet gives you physical contact with another living being and stops you feeling so lonely.

Can help you to help others

If you own an animal that you can take out and about you could become a volunteer and take your animal to care homes and hospitals, so that that other people get the benefit of interacting with an animal. You can read about Pets as Therapy here, the website is full of useful information and tells you how you can join with a dog or cat.

Makes you happy

Owning a pet has such a lot of advantages, especially when you’re older and maybe live alone. It’s nice to have to have something to care about and to receive the love an animal gives you.
If you want to get a pet, try the animal shelters in your area, who always have animals waiting for homes. Just put ‘animal shelter’ and then where you live in your search browser and you’ll find a list will come up of all the animal rescue centres in your area.