Southern Cross highlights health benefits of pet ownership

Report notes surge in pet ownership in New Zealand

Southern Cross highlights health benefits of pet ownership

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

A recent Healthy Futures Report by Southern Cross revealed that an overwhelming 95% of pet owners attest to the positive impact of their pets on their personal health and wellbeing.

Kerri Murray, sales manager at Southern Cross Pet Insurance and former vet, noted a rise in the number of New Zealanders opting for pet ownership.

“We have seen an increase in pet ownership in New Zealand, and you can understand why, given the companionship, and wellbeing benefits they bring to their owners,” she said.

Benefits of having pets

According to the Healthy Futures Report, the interaction between humans and their pets has been linked with decreased feelings of isolation, particularly among older pet owners, heightened feelings of social support, and improved mood states. Pets also provide invaluable lessons for children, teaching them about empathy, responsibility, and building healthy relationships through the care of their animal companions.

Moreover, pet ownership promotes physical activity, contributing to better heart health and overall physical condition – with 89% of pet owners acknowledging their pets as a key factor in maintaining an active lifestyle, with dog owners particularly benefiting from regular walks and playtime.

Murray highlighted how pets can bring a structured routine to their owners' lives, noting simple reminders like feeding times can help in maintaining a regular schedule.

Such routines are not only crucial for the pet's health but also beneficial for the owner, aiding in physical wellbeing, sleep quality, and providing a psychological boost by reducing stress and offering a sense of daily progress.

Responsibilities of a pet owner

Despite the numerous advantages of pet ownership, Murray cautioned about the responsibilities it entails.

“There are a number of factors to consider for example, your lifestyle, financial capabilities for food and medical care, and the time required for proper care before bringing a pet into their homes. It's crucial to ensure that both the pet and the owner are set up for a fulfilling and responsible relationship,” she said. “We believe that a healthy pet leads to a healthier owner, and we're committed to supporting the wellbeing of both.”

A recent analysis of New Zealand's top pet insurance claims provided insights into the health risks faced by dogs and cats, emphasising the significance of awareness among pet owners regarding potential health issues.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!