5 Ways Pets Help Improve People’s Health

More than 40 million people in the U.S. today are affected with anxiety disorders. With a mental health crisis unfolding in America today, everyone is looking for a therapy or medicine to make life happier and healthier. And our beloved pets provide us with a therapy that is unmatched.

Jam Stewart, vice president of corporate affairs at Mars Petcare, talked about how the team is leading the charge of educating the public on how pet ownership can improve mental health.

“I hope leaders across the health community will join us,” said Stewart. “Because when a doctor recommends a life with a pet, they’re truly writing a prescription for a happier, healthier life.”

Here are some of the health benefits to pet ownership Stewart and her team provided:

1. Pet owners make 15 percent fewer visits to the doctor than non-pet owners, which is economically beneficial.

Researchers in the U.K. found that this health benefit of pet ownership could help cut public healthcare costs by over $2 billion annually.

2. People with pets have healthier physical responses to stress, such as lower heart rates and blood pressure.

3. Mars Petcare’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition discovered that pets help create social bonds.

People tend to make more friends because pets can increase friendliness, helpfulness and trust.

4. Pets can play a role in healthy aging.

Pet ownership has been reported to be associated with better cardiovascular health including reduced hypertension and improved survival rates following cardiac events. Some studies also found boosted immunities, increased physical activity and resistance to disease.

5. It’s also been shown that children with pets may be better able to deal with stress.


Pets play an important role in helping us live healthier and happier lives, so it’s important for us to return the favor. For more information on how pets impact our lives – and how you can work with Mars Petcare to make your city more pet-friendly – visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.