Check out our pet care section for expert advice on how to keep pets healthy and happy!
Get the lowdown on neutering, microchipping, vaccinating and more.
Read our top tips for dealing with pet obesity, a fear of fireworks and caring for your pets during holidays.
Our pets are amazing – they can offer us company, affection, comfort and fun, therefore they deserve our care and respect.
Understanding your pet's needs
Pets come in all shapes and sizes, from cats to chinchillas, fish to goats, rabbits to snakes!
Whether you own a cat or are thinking of buying a puppy, there are lots of 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 care advice and practical tips to help you do this, whether your pet is a dog or a chicken!
Looking for a pet?
Consider giving a new home to one of the unwanted or abused animals in our care. No animals are more deserving of a second chance. Find a pet.
Pets have special abilities
- Did you know that dogs can be trained to detect drugs, explosives, termites and diseases such as cancer, epilepsy and diabetes ?
- Did you know that cats have incredible hearing and can detect higher frequencies of sound than humans or even dogs ?
- Did you know rabbits can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour for short bursts ?
Discover more about these amazing animals in our dog, cat and rabbit factfiles.
Owning a pet may help to keep you healthy
Boosting your immune system
- One study found that children brought up with pets have more stable immune systems than those in non-pet owning homes, and missed fewer school days through sickness .
- An Australian survey found that dog and cat owners made fewer annual doctor visits and were less likely to be on medication for heart problems and sleeping difficulties than non-owners .
- Owning a dog can motivate people to exercise by encouraging regular walking. A study in Australia found that dog owners who walked their dog were more likely to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity a week than owners who did not walk with their dog .
- Another study found that older people who regularly walked their dogs walked faster and for longer periods, and also had better mobility in their homes, than those who didn’t walk regularly .
Providing emotional support
- Pets can be a great source of companionship to their owners .
- Growing up with pets may improve children’s social skills with people and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility . Pets can also encourage children to develop compassion, understanding and respect for living things .
- Pets can act as ‘social catalysts’, by providing more opportunities for social interactions . For example, dogs can help to initiate conversations between strangers in public places. A shared interest in pets brings people together from different parts of the community. People with more social relationships are less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness or social isolation .
References: Numbers in square brackets indicate the source of this information. View the reference list for information on this page: Our pets reference list (PDF 181KB)