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We all love our pets but do you know the health benefits they bring to their owners

By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020

Europe’s number one pet website – Wamiz – has celebrated its 10th anniversary by launching into the UK with www.wamiz.co.uk and sharing research insight demonstrating how dogs and cats bring well-being and health benefits to companion humans of any age.

Wamiz, which attracts a huge 19 million page views per month to its European site, has produced an infographic of collated research findings, highlighting all that our furry friends offer, in terms of physical and mental health benefits and social engagement with others.

infographie bienfait article UK

Ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10), Wamiz highlights that 62% of owners have a pet because it makes them feel happier.  68% of older people feel better both mentally and physically when they have a pet and 40% of people say pets make them less stressed.

There are good reasons.  Stroking an animal provides us with a feeling of well-being due to our body’s release of the hormone oxytocin, which encourages relaxation and calmness.  The warm welcome a pet provides is also uplifting and, as unconditional affection providers, pets lighten our mood and overcome our feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Wamiz’s infographic also communicates how pets can make over-65s feel 10 years younger with the arrival of a dog in the home leading to a 12% increase in physical activity.  The exercise that comes with being a dog’s companion provides great cardiovascular benefits.  It is suggested heart disease reduces by 11% in dog walkers and premature death by 33%.

At the other end of the age scale, Wamiz shows how babies in daily contact with a dog or cat are 33% less likely to develop allergies, 30% less likely to suffer respiratory infections and 15% less likely to have asthma.

Wamiz’s expert vet and writer, Isabelle Vixege says: “As a vet, I get to see every day in my clinic the mutual bond between owners and their pets and it is hard to question that such unconditional love makes us feel good. In our super-competitive, ever-changing world, one thing that will be a constant is the place that dogs and cats have in our hearts and homes.

“What’s more pleasant than a dog that comes running up to welcome you home, or a cat that rubs itself with delight against your legs?  Did you know the purr of a cat is a powerful way to reduce our stress levels, thanks to soothing vibrations that are able to lower human blood pressure and boost immunity. We and our pets really do offer each other some incredible health and wellbeing benefits.”

Finally, 30% of pet owners say they have had a love encounter thanks to their pet, so there really is every reason to be pondering what breed to choose. Wamiz even helps dog seekers with this, thanks to a feature at www.wamiz.co.uk that helps you find your perfect canine match.  Head to the site to get all the information you could want on pets – and more.

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