Pets remain as popular as ever in UK households – 2015 research published by the Pet Foods Manufacturers’ Association in their annual report finds that:
- 46% of UK households have a pet
- The pet population is currently estimated to be around 58 million (not far behind the human population of 64.5 million!)
- Indoor fish make up the largest group of pets, at 19.9 million
- Dogs are the most popular pet in UK households, with a quarter of homes sharing their sofas with a canine companion
- Figures suggest that there are now almost a million more dogs than there were five years ago (8.5 million in 2015, as opposed to 7.6 in 2010), whilst the cat population has dropped by half a million over the same timescale (currently estimated at 7.4 million, down from 7.9 million in 2010)
- Numbers of rabbits and small furries remain fairly static, with 2% of UK households caring for each
Because, as we all know, pets enrich the lives of everybody lucky enough to share that special bond. As well as providing companionship and love, studies have also found a clear link between pets and improved health:
- One study at Cambridge University found that the people with pets had fewer minor ailments (such as colds and headaches) compared with those without pets in their lives.
- An Australian study has suggested that having a pet may lower levels of cholesterol and blood triglycerides, which are risk factors for heart disease.
- Heart attack survivors who care for pets have been shown to live longer than people with the same heart problems who don’t have pets in their lives.
So next time you are presented with a little unexpected ‘present’ on the doorstep, or have to clean up the aftermath of indoor chasing games, remember that it’s all good for you!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and theRalph Site team.
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.