Benefits of the bond

Many pet owners view their pets as valued members of the family and enjoy a variety of benefits associated with interacting with pets.


Pet ownership can have many benefits, including an improved mood and lower blood pressure.

There is increasing evidence of the health and other associated benefits of pet ownership for people of all ages and with diverse needs. The therapeutic effects of pet interactions are also becoming better understood and documented.

Research studies investigating the human health benefits of pet ownership have shown that sustained, responsible interaction with companion animals can benefit us in many different ways.

Pet ownership: the general health benefits

  • Improve mood, reduce depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Lower the risk of a heart attack
  • Motivate and encourage exercise
  • Reduce and prevent stress
  • Help to prevent disease

A study conducted at the University of Minnessota of nearly 4,500 people found that cat owners were 40% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than people who didn’t have a cat.

Qureshi et al, 2008

iStock_000018575192XSmallOther benefits

  • Increase self-esteem and sense of personal competence
  • Lessen loneliness, encourage and enable socialisation
  • Provide a source of social support
  • Provide an unconditional acceptance and warmth
  • Boost the immune system
  • Decrease the number of visits to your GP
  • Act as a health warning.  Recently, dogs have been known to detect and identify certain cancers. See medical detection dogs and also the article Poppy power, written by Philippa Copleston-Warren, owner of Medical Detection Dog Poppy.

Watch our free recorded webinar: “The human-companion animal bond”.