Irish pet owners don’t know the profound health benefits of having a dog
Published 18/03/2016 | 18:08
Most Irish pet owners don’t know the profound health benefits of having a dog - that they can detect cancer, and also alert owners to seizures.
Three quarters of Irish adults don’t know that dogs can detect early signs of cancer, while one third of adults don’t know that dogs can alert their owners to potential seizures, according to a new survey.
According to a recent ‘Better with Pets’ review and survey commissioned by Purina, Nestlé’s pet food company, companionship for Irish pet owners is the overwhelming reason why those surveyed have a pet, say 71pc of respondents.
Though half of pet owners report that pets have a positive effect on their mental health.
Professor Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln, who spoke at Purina’s first ever Better with Pets European Forum recently, said that pet ownership can help save healthcare systems millions of euros per year.
“While these numbers are not perfect, there is definitely something there that the public health and pet care community needs to pay attention to. The benefits of responsible pet ownership are clear.”
“I’ve seen pets have dramatic effects on autistic children. It is important that we understand the subtleties and nuances of how people and pets work together - this is vitally important for the well-being of both, and has the potential to make a massive difference to public health.”
“However, it is crucial that the research industry is given an opportunity to analyse this further and not have their evidence ignored as being at an early stage,” Professor Mills said.