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Can owning a pet make you live longer?

Can owning a pet make you live longer?

Published at 11:40am 20th February 2019.

Research has suggested that pet owners visit the doctor less, spend less money on medication and can even live longer than those who don't own a pet.

The study, supported by Mars Petcare, suggests that owning a pet can increase an owner's physical activity, socialisation and mental stimulation, leading to a longer life as a result.

On average, owners walk 22 minutes more per day and take 2,760 additional steps, and are five times more likely to know people in their neighbourhood, as well as benefiting their mental health.

To mark 'Love your Pet Day 2019,' experts are encouraging us to spend more time with our beloved animals. 

Cat and dog in a field
On average, pet owners walk an extra 22 minutes and take 2,760 additional steps per day

Owning a pet can be beneficial to all ages when it comes to both mental and physical health, but is particularly advantageous for the elderly.

Dr Jo Gale, Veterinarian Mars Petcare Scientific Advisor, said:

"We've seen that older people who own pets tend to be more active and stay active for longer, which can have huge impacts on their health.

"In terms of combating social isolation, which is a problem for all age groups but particularly for the elderly, having a pet can get them out meeting people and having that routine to care for a pet has such an impact on their health."

Dog being stroked
Experts are advising we spend more time with our beloved animals for 'Love your Pet Day 2019'

Ben Groom from Stray FM's Family Show spoke to Veterinarian Dr Jo Gale and Niamh Carwood from Mayhew Animal Welfare Charity about the benefits of owning pets:

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