Owners get more out of life when spending time with their pets, new study claims

When drawing up a guest list for a birthday party, most people choose to keep it small with just their closest family and friends.

However, new research shows 41 per cent of pet owners make a conscious effort to involve their dogs in their celebrations.

Not only have owners started involving their pets in their milestone moments, but 19 per cent have started taking them along to coffee shops, 28 per cent meditate with their pets and another 37 per cent regularly exercise with them.

Pet supplement company Purina asked pet owners about the health and wellbeing activities they enjoyed with their pet and found that pets and their owners were getting more out of life together.

A spokesperson said: “People are also feeling the benefit – with respondents saying they feel more relaxed (60 per cent), less lonely (55 per cent), physically fitter (44 per cent), and more confident (19 per cent) when they spend time with their pet.”

While it’s well-known that pets help to support their owners’ wellbeing, it’s often forgotten they can face their own difficulties too.

It is estimated that around 40 per cent of dogs experience some kind of health or welfare challenge during their lives.

This can be due to traumatic injury or ill health, but can include lifestyle challenges such as moving house, getting lost, or facing changes in family structure or routines.

Cats and dogs that are ageing can also experience reduced immunity, joint stiffness, or anxiety which may be exacerbated by diminished hearing or sight.

Purina vet Libby Sheridan says pet parents increasingly view their pets as members of the family and want them to benefit from the same levels of care that they give themselves.

She said: “Most lifespans – for pets and people – are longer than their ‘healthspans’ which relates more to the quality of life.

“Many of us will have experienced ‘bumps in the road’ that affect our health and wellbeing and understand that sometimes we need help to get us through that rough patch.

“With that understanding, pet parents are often looking to find ways to provide additional support to improve the quality of life of their pets.”

She added: “Supplements can provide extra support when pets need it and together with a high quality, complete and balanced petfood, exercise, and access to veterinary care, they can help pets live long and happy lives.

“Types of supplements given to dogs include those for joint support, to help support joint movement and flexibility, skin and coat supplements to help support skin health, coat glossiness and softness, multivitamins for overall health support and vitality, immunity support to help aid antibody production as well as relaxation supplements to help support calmer behaviour in challenging situations.

“Cats are most likely to be given multivitamins, or supplements to help support immunity or skin and coat health.

PURINA® PRO PLAN® supplements benefit from the company’s 90 years of scientific expertise in pet nutrition, physiology and behaviour. Its team has more than 500 scientists and vets working around the globe to improve the lives of cats and dogs.