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Sainsbury’s Bank finds pets make good companions for kids

Do pets have a positive impact on children? A new survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance suggests children and animals may benefit from living together.

Over half (51 percent) of respondents thought that pets made good companions for kids. 48 percent felt pets taught children about responsibility and 35 percent stated that they helped to keep their youngsters active.

Animals may also enjoy having children in the household. The survey showed that twice as many pet-owning families say their pets seem much happier when the children are at home (20 percent), than when they are not (10 percent). 24 percent of families also felt that the pets get more attention during school holidays.

Karen Wild, member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) said: “Pets have been shown to provide health benefits for humans. Taking the dog for a walk encourages exercise, fresh air, and social contact; dogs are great at helping us start conversations. Stroking and talking gently to our cats and dogs can increase oxytocin levels (the ‘happy hormone’) in both pet and human.”

“Cats and dogs can be very sensitive to their owner’s feelings and behaviour, particularly if they are in a tense or chaotic home environment.  Pets can become as attached to us as we are to them. Separation distress is a widely recognised condition suffered by some pets when left behind at home due to our busier lives.  Pet owners can help to alleviate this particular condition by gradually building up the amount of time they spend away from their pets.”

Scott Gorman of Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance said: “Pets can become stressed just like humans, and this can lead to problems with their behaviour which is why we offer cover for behavioural illness as standard on all our new policies.”


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