Our pets

Playful white-and-tabby kitten © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA photolibrary

Get the lowdown on neutering, microchipping, vaccinating and more.


Read our top tips for dealing with pet obesity, a fear of fireworks and holiday pet care.
 

Understanding your pet's needs

Dog playing with ball in run area  © Philip Toscano/RSPCA photolibrary 

Whether you own a cat or are thinking of buying a puppy, there are important things you need to know and do to keep your pet healthy and happy.


The law requires you to care for your pet properly and in this section you'll find expert advice and practical tips to help you do this.


Pets have special abilities

  • Dogs can be trained to detect drugs, explosives and diseases such as cancer [1].
     
  • Cats have incredible hearing and can detect higher frequencies of sound than humans or even dogs [2].
     
  • Rabbits can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour [3]. 


Owning a pet may help to keep you healthy

Cat sleeping © Leigh Hyland / RSPCA Australia

Boosting your immune system

  • Children brought up with pets have more stable immune systems [4].
     
  • A survey found that dog and cat owners made fewer annual doctor visits [5].
     

Encouraging exercise

  • A study found that dog owners who walked their dog were more likely to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity a week than owners who didn't walk with their dog [6].
     
  • Older people who regularly walk their dogs walk faster and for longer periods, and have better mobility in their homes [7].
     

Providing emotional support

  • Pets can be a great source of companionship [8].
     
  • Growing up with pets may improve children’s social skills and encourages childhood responsibility [9]. Pets can also encourage children to develop compassion, understanding and respect for living things [10].
     
  • Pets can act as ‘social catalysts’, by providing opportunities for social interactions [11]. For example, dogs can help to initiate conversations between strangers. People with more social relationships are less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness or social isolation [12].


View the reference list for this page: Our pets reference list (PDF 181KB)

 

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Working for the welfare of pet animals

We work to improve the welfare of pets by:

  • Ensuring that every pet is cared for properly and has a good home
  • Ending cruelty to pet animals
  • Raising standards for pet animals worldwide
  • Stopping pet overpopulation.

These are just four of our goals to help pet animals.
Find our more about our work for companion animals.