Keeping a pet can be good for us. Pets can provide companionship if we are lonely, and can encourage us to take more physical exercise.

The benefits of having a pet

  • walking a dog can provide much needed physical exercise and social interaction
  • petting an animal has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, providing a calming effect; even watching fish in an aquarium can be beneficial
  • people who own pets are less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness and isolation - beneficial in preventing depression - and are less likely to experience feelings of alienation
  • if you live in rented accommodation, social housing, or in a block of flats, always check with your landlord, or managing agents, as you may require permission to keep a pet

Care and treatment for your pet
If you are on a low income you may be able to access free or subsidised vet care for your pet from the The PDSA.

Other information and advice
There are many websites to help you if you're thinking about getting a pet. Many also help rescued animals find new homes.

The RSPCA is the leading animal welfare charity. It has the experience and knowledge to make a real difference to the lives of animals. It also has animals that need homes.

National Petsitters offers a range of pet sitting services while owners are away on holiday or at work etc. Services include: home boarding for all pets, house sitting, day care/daily visits, cat visiting, dog walking and small pet/bird care.

The Pet Health Forum is a discussion board where you can find information on keeping your pets healthy, share your experiences and stories about your pets, and chat to other pet owners.

National Careline has more information about pets and their benefits as well as information on related subjects.

Animal Rescuers is a directory of animal rescue web sites grouped by location and animal. It has pages for lost and found pets and pets needing new homes.