Puppy in mug

Puppies bring happiness, but not for everyone

Nearly half of us believe that a puppy makes us feel happy and have serious mood-lifting powers. A survey of UK pet owners by Natures Menu has revealed that more than four fifths (83%) think that having a pet really does improve our general well-being.

Dogs come out on top as the best creature to make us feel the happiest (47%), followed by our feline friends (24%. Pets also topped the board for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%), friends (12%) and other (3%).

If we’ve had a bad day at work, spending time with your dog or cat can instantly soothe us and reduce anxiety levels with nearly 60% of us believing that they can make us feel more relaxed, and less stressed. Other ways they positively impact our health and happiness include their unconditional love and the fact that they are always happy to see us (54%), their cuddliness and enjoyment they provide outside of work (43%), and the sense of purpose and self-worth they give us (34%).

A pooch can also be good for our health as one in three of us (33%) admit that our furry-friends encourage us to go out for a walk and enjoy the great outdoors.

With 12 million UK households owning a pet, here are the top five reasons why we decide to get a pet in the first place:

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

See also: 40% of people hate their neighbours’ pets

Pug with a snack

10% of Brits give puppies away within a month

Not everyone who buys a puppy is able to keep it. Almost one in ten Brits who have bought a puppy ended up giving it away, after just one MONTH, according to a survey by Forthglade.

Of those people, 26% said the reality of the commitment of having to look after the puppy was simply too much to take on. Another 26% said that, having bought a puppy, it caused too much damage to the house, while a further 24% admitted they struggled to train the dog. The rest said they were totally unprepared for the expense.

Forthglade published the report, ahead of National Puppy Day (23rd March), to mark the launch of its ‘Prepare for Puppy’ campaign, backed by TV Vet and dog owner, Steve Leonard, who said, “Preparation is everything – from vaccinations and puppy-proofing to ensuring your dog has a nourishing, balanced diet. There will be so much to learn about your puppy, his needs, his character and his health.

“Getting to know your new puppy won’t happen overnight but there is nothing more heart-warming than seeing the bond between an older dog and its owner, from a lifetime working together to make each other’s lives better – and this comes from getting it right from the start. I hope this campaign helps to promote all the considerations necessary before people rush out and get a puppy.”