Is pet ownership associated with better health and wellbeing?

Healthy Pets NZ is excited to announce the successful recipient of the second study to be completed under the Human-Animal Bond category with appreciation by our Human-Animal Bond Partner, and premium pet health nutrition company ROYAL CANINĀ®.


As pet parents, we already know that our companion animals bring joy to our lives. Studies from around the world have shown there are health and wellbeing benefits of owning a companion animal too.


Unfortunately, most of the current information about possible health and wellbeing benefits of companion animals have been examined at a single time point, which has limitations.


Perhaps you had a great day with your cat or dog, and this great experience influenced your responses to health and wellbeing questions in a positive way. Or perhaps your cat or dog was very sick and worries about its health had a negative influence when you decided to answer questions about your own health and wellbeing.


Scientists use strategies to avoid such influences of daily events on health and wellbeing data from a single person. Strategies include obtaining information from a large number of people and collecting information across time.


To be certain about the health and benefits of owning a companion animal, it is important to obtain information from a large number of people as well as examining if pet ownership at a particular point in time is associated with health/wellbeing outcomes later.


This project will use information from about 42,680 New Zealanders to investigate if owning a companion animal in 2015 had an influence on their health and wellbeing assessed much later in 2019. This will provide valuable information about the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders who own a companion animal compared to New Zealanders who do not.


We here at Healthy Pets NZ really look forward to the outcomes of the study. Studies like this help us the challenge what we think we know by acknowledging the limitations of previous research and aiming to improve on it. This is why support for ongoing research is so important.


Healthy Pets NZ, with our Partners pet insurance specialists PD Insurance; premium pet health nutrition company ROYAL CANINĀ®; and the NZ Veterinary Associations Companion Animal Veterinarians; are proud to be supporting NZ based research to help improve the lives of Kiwi pets.