Responsible Pet Ownership
Updated: Aug 18, 2022
We love our pets - they have an incredible impact on our lives! They can positively influence our levels of physical activity; lowering blood pressure and heart rate. They help us to cope with stress and can stop us from feeling lonely (Chandler, 2019; Vormbrock and Grossberg, 1988; Wells and Rodi, 2000). They can even stimulate social interaction, preventing social isolation and helping those with autism, for example (Hayden-Evans et al., 2018; Ward et al., 2017). It’s no wonder that 40% of UK households have at least one pet (PFMA, 2019)!
The Five Welfare Needs
Caring for a pet is a huge responsibility! The PSDA (2019) discovered that 72% of pet owners feel informed about The Five Welfare Needs (shown below) - owners feel most confident about the need for a suitable diet (91%), whereas companionship is the least well-known attribute (78%). Their study showed that 21% of pet owners did no research before getting their pet.
Research prior to obtaining a pet is crucial so that the associated commitment, costs and needs of an animal are consistently met. When these costs and needs cannot be met, animals are often abandoned, surrendered or rehomed - causing stress for the animal. In