The benefits of pet ownership


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The benefits of pet ownership

Australians love their petsi. With one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, our furry, feathery, and scaly friends are practically familyi.

Not only do they offer companionship and affection, but pets can also boost our health; increasing our fitness levels; and helping us cope emotionallyii.

Handy helpers

More than reliable companions, research shows that pets provide many physical and mental health benefits. A 10-month prospective study on the beneficial effects of pet ownership on human health reveals that those who own a pet experience a greater reduction in minor health problems compared to those who don'tiii.

Children raised with pets are more likely to grow up empathetic and sociable.

These findings are mainly attributed to an increased participation in recreational activities by pet ownersiii. Responsibility to the health of their pets encourages owners to exercise regularly, and subsequently reduces their risk of developing chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseaseiv. And in addition to improved physical well-being, pet ownership can also help alleviate stress and symptoms of depressionv.

A study conducted by the University of Western Australia shows that pet owners are more likely to get out and meet new peoplevi, reducing their risk of being lonely and helping them focus on positive and valuable aspects of their life. Children growing up with pets are more likely to be empathetic and social than kids withoutvii.

Apart from improving our general well-being and lifestyle, pets can also be therapeutic. Animal-assisted therapy (also known as pet therapy) is used to help improve an individual's social, emotional and cognitive functioningviii.

Without adequate savings, vet fees and medical expenses can burn holes in your pockets. Take out pet insurance to avoid financial stress.

Providing for your family

Pets serve us in many ways - as companions, helpers in the work place, and improving our health. And just like us, they are susceptible to illness and injury. A sick pet can cause distress in the family, and without adequate savings, nursing them back to health can be financially stressful. In the event your dog, cat or horse becomes injured or develops an ongoing illness, pet insurance can help you meet the cost of their treatment. But its not only your pet that needs the right protection in place, its just as important to make sure yourself, and your loved ones are looked after if the worst were to happen. Just like pet insurance can help ease financial stress if something were to happen to your furry family member, life insurance can help to get you and your family back on track after a serious illness, injury or even death.


i Australian Companion Animal Council, 2009, The Power of Pets, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/PowerOfPets_2009_19.pdf, p.1

ii Liebmann-Smith, J., 2010, Pet Dogs And Cats: 6 Health Benefits, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-liebmannsmith-phd/6-health-benefits-of-owni_b_795430.html#s209450&title=They_Can_Help

iii Serpell, J., 1991, ‘Beneficial effects of pet ownership on some aspects of human health and behaviour’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1295517/

iv Australian Companion Animal Council, 2009, The Power of Pets, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/PowerOfPets_2009_19.pdf, p.4

v Dinh, T., 2011, Depression and Pets, Live strong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/14643-depression-and-pets/

vi Australian Companion Animal Council, 2009, The Power of Pets, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/PowerOfPets_2009_19.pdf, p.3

vii Australian Companion Animal Council, 2009, The Power of Pets, http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/PowerOfPets_2009_19.pdf, p.5

viii Turner, J., 2011, Animal Assisted Therapy and Autism Intervention: A Synthesis of the Literature, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=gs_rp, p.i