The sight of waggy-tailed four-legged friend is enough to make anyone smile, but research has found that owning a pet really does improve our happiness and wellbeing.

In the research conducted by raw and natural pet food experts Natures Menu, more than four-fifths (83%) think that having a pet really does improve our general wellbeing. Dogs came out on top as the pets that make us feel most content (47%), followed by cats (24%). Pets also topped the board for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%) and friends (12%).

The results have been revealed this month to mark National Pet Month which runs throughout April and aims to celebrate our pets and raise awareness of responsible pet ownership.

Some of the ways dogs help improve our wellbeing include making us feel less stressed which was mentioned by nearly 60% of respondents. Over half (54%) said that their unconditional love and the fact that they are always happy to see us was another reason. A third (34%) also said that the sense of purpose and self-worth they give us is a factor.

A pooch can be good for our health too as one in three of us admit that our dog encourages us to go outside and get some exercise.

Top five reason we decide to get a pet

  • I’ve just always had a pet and can’t imagine not having one – 45%
  • The companionship and love that they give – 42%
  • My children or family wanted one – I gave in! – 31%
  • I wanted to rescue one from a local centre – 19%
  • The security and support they provide – 19%

Claire Miller, Head Vet at Natures Menu, said, “It’s widely known that animals do wonders for our emotional and physical health, so it’s great to see that as a nation we really do believe that they are great for our overall happiness. Whilst pets can help to boost our mood, of course, we also need to ensure that they are happy too. A diet that’s high in nutritional value and is balanced, combined with plenty of exercise will ensure that they thrive.

“Look out for a wagging tail in response to human contact from your pooch or a kitty settling on your lap. These are clear indications that you make your pet as happy as they make you!”


  1. Yep, no doubt about it. Having a dog creates so many positive things in my life:

    It makes me take long walks, get fresh air and sunshine, interact with other dog owners, always being greeted by a happy friend, etc. I love it!


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