Exclusive Survey: These Are the Greatest Benefits of Pets

There are many benefits to sharing your pet life, of course. But which ones predominate? And are there any disadvantages? We asked pet owners in Europe that. And these are the answers.

Pets can have a positive effect on our health, as therapy animals, they can give comfort or simply make us laugh. How good animals are for us has in part already been scientifically proven. But how do pet owners individually rate the greatest advantages of their pets?

To find out, PetReader started a representative survey of 1,000 pet owners in Europe. These are the results.

Pets Have Many Advantages

The biggest advantages pets have: They’re an extra member of the family (60.8 percent) and they just make you happier (57.6 percent). At the same time, they appear to have a positive effect on our health – by ensuring that 34.4 percent of pet owners get outdoors more often and 33.1 percent feel less stressed. In addition, 14.4 percent can sleep better thanks to their animals.

Of course, pets are good company too. 47.1 percent of those questioned see it as an advantage that they are less alone because of their pets. And 22 percent are happy about more social contacts, for example with other pet owners. Pets evidently also demonstrate the social component as therapeutic assistants – for example in education. That is what at least 22.4 percent of those surveyed say.

39.7 percent estimate that their pets teach them to take responsibility – especially those aged 18 to 34, by the way. The 45 to 54-year-olds were more likely to vote for the fresh air factor.

More Exercise and Fresh Air: Benefits of Pets in the Pandemic

Have the benefits of being a pet owner changed during the pandemic? We also wanted to know that from Germany’s pet owners. The advantage that has increased particularly during the Corona period is – surprise – that thanks to pets, you are more often in the fresh air. Those who spent most of their time at home during the lockdowns apparently enjoyed the strolls in particular.

People in the pandemic also learned to appreciate the fact that pets simply make you happy, are good therapists, ensure exercise and better sleep. In contrast, the benefit that pets increase social contact decreased by almost one in five during the pandemic. More than any other benefit.

In general, in times of social distancing, social contacts were rare – even our fur-noses couldn’t do much against it. Around 15 percent also find that their pets were less effective in helping them deal with stress during the pandemic.

After all: in general, only two percent think that pets have no advantages. But is there a downside to pets for masters?

Pets Have Disadvantages Too

Anyone who has a pet knows that it’s not all just playing and cuddling. Dogs have to go for a walk even when it rains, cats always need a clean litter box and the cage of small animals also needs to be cleaned regularly. All in all, keeping a pet goes hand in hand with a lot of responsibility for a living being.

For most pet owners, however, this is not the biggest disadvantage of their life with their animal companions. Instead, a sad reason lands in the first place: the loss when the animal dies is a headache for almost half (47 percent) of those surveyed.

Immediately afterward, however, there are the restrictions that a pet can bring with it: 39.2 percent find that you are more inflexible with a pet, for example when planning your vacation or spending your free time. The great responsibility that an animal entails only lands in third place with 31.9 percent. Other night animals from pets:

  • high costs for housing (24.2 percent)
  • make dirt (21.5 percent)
  • large expenditure of time (20.5 percent)
  • allergic reactions (13.1 percent)
  • high acquisition costs (12.8 percent)

One in ten also worries about the compatibility of animals and careers. 9.3 percent find it difficult to raise pets and 8.3 percent complain that pets can lead to stress with landlords.

The younger ones (18 to 24 years old), on the other hand, are more likely to find the dirt factor of pets a disadvantage. But they were also more concerned about what would happen if the loved one died. After all: 15.3 percent find that pets have no disadvantages at all. The 55 to 65-year-olds saw it that way.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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