Benefits of pet ownership

Pets are a normal part of most Australian lives. While most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend.

There is a wealth of research that points to the benefits of pet ownership. A four legged friend can provide hours of fun, relaxation, happiness and unconditional love.

Pets also improve psychosocial wellbeing. Studies show family pets actually help in facilitating child development, reducing loneliness, depression and facilitating social support and interaction with other humans. They can also provide stress relief, boost self-esteem and improve health and wellbeing.

Of course there are also the physical benefits. Exercising your pet is also exercising you. Pets and their owners both enjoy the benefits of exercise and the health advantages that follow.

These benefits of pet ownership are well recognised by us. In fact our animal management officers see themselves as carers for a family member when they are called out to pick up a lost dog. If the lost dog can be identified, such as through a registration tag, the dog is immediately reunited with his or her family. The aim is to minimise stress for both the lost family member and the anxious family waiting at home.

We are bound by legislation to various processes and procedures with respect to pet management. We must and do carry out our legislative responsibilities. However we never lose sight of the value of our pets in our community. Pets are loved and are valuable in fostering health, wellbeing and community building through social interaction.

For further information about the benefits of pet ownership, download a copy of The Power of Pets — Australian Companion Animal Council Inc.

The Power of Pets(PDF, 939KB)

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