Today a staggering 50% plus of UK households own a pet, from cats and dogs to snakes and birds; it seems we love having pets share our homes with us. People own pets for different reasons, predominantly for companionship, but also for children, security and to show them off! It is not just a recent fad either, throughout England's long and established history, pets have played crucial parts in family lives. Cats are renowned mice and rat catchers, which made them essential in combating the bubonic plague, and dogs "a man's best friend" have always been associated with royalty.
Currently there are around 9 million pet cats in the UK, and over 7 million dogs. Figures suggest that our feline friends are more popular than canine critters due to our hectic working lives becoming increasingly complex, therefore independent cats are more favorable than more dependant dogs. Surprisingly more exotic pets are on the increase, such as snakes, reptiles and tropical fish, despite these animals requiring more attention and specialist demands.
There is growing recognition that pet ownership can have a real impact on our physical and psychological well being. Owning pets can benefit people of all ages. Simply taking your dog on a walk or playing with cats around the house is a form of exercise. Petting and stroking animals has been proved to lower blood pressure and reduce heart rates. Additionally having a pet can help speed up recovery times and build up a child's immune system.
With all the benefits pets can offer their owners and friends, what is stopping you adopting a furry friend into your home? Well, to be honest pets can cost an unexpected fortune. A massive 73 million pounds was spent last year in the UK, just on pampering dogs!
Unfortunately rising vets bills can be too much for some owners, therefore, if their pet gets seriously ill or injured; the only option for this 7% of owners is regrettably drastic. Britain's dog owners spend over 800 million pounds on vet fees each year, with the average cost of treatment weighing in at 154 pounds a year. To make matters worse, over half of dog owners in the UK suspect some vets inflate their fees by recommending non-essential treatment.
In conclusion a pet is a fantastic addition to any home or family. Don't be afraid to be adventurous and go for more unusual pets if you can provide the care and attention required. Encourage friends and family to play and care for your animals, since it is mutually beneficial for everyone, especially the pet! However just bear in mind exactly how much any animal can cost each year, regardless whether or not it needs to visit the vet. If an animal does need medical attention or treatment, do not feel pressured into purchasing it from the vets itself, shop around, and especially look on the net. By following these tips, keeping a pet can be amazing, enjoyable and relatively cost effective!