Owning pets reduces social isolation, research suggests

Pet ownership could be key to tackling the UK’s “loneliness epidemic” research has revealed. Data from Mars Petcare has shown the average Briton feels lonely for seven days each month of the year- totaling one-and-a- half¬† years across the average adults lifetime.

Furthermore, a third of Britons consider themselves to be socially isolated. Mars Petcare  and the Waltham Centre fro Pet Nutrition commissioned the research to quantify the positive impacts of human animal interaction and pet ownership- particularly for the lonely and socially isolated. The research comes months after a survey of 2,000 people across the UK, conducted by One-poll for Mars Petcare, revealed while loneliness was often affiliated with the elderly, it is more likely to affect young people with half of 18-24 year olds feeling socially isolated.

The study also found pets made a significant difference and could be part of the solution to help alleviate the UK’s loneliness crisis, with 4 in 5 pet owners reporting dramatically reduced feelings of loneliness within a month of owning a pet. A further 6 out of 10 respondents went as far as to describe their pet as their closest companion, with 86 per cent admitting their animals make their home a happier place to be.