Pets such as dogs and cats are of growing importance in the social, health and educational areas, according to the results of a representative survey by the Forsa Institute on behalf of the pet food manufacturer Mars Petcare. The pets counteract loneliness, promote health and take on important functions as everyday helpers, the company reports with reference to the 2013 pet study.
"As assistance dogs for sick and disabled people, as reading dogs in special schools, as visiting animals in retirement homes or as partners for single people" - pets have the potential to at least alleviate the consequences of social changes such as demographic change or increasing loneliness Communication from Mars Petcare. According to the results of the current Forsa survey, three quarters of Germans rate domestic animals as indispensable in many areas, but still underestimated by society. In total, around 22 million cats, dogs, small animals, birds and fish live in Germany, reports Mars Petcare. In one third of the household, the pets are also companions, everyday helpers and contacts.
Pets counteract loneliness Around 1,200 adults were polled by the Forsa polling institute on behalf of the pet food manufacturer. Most of the respondents were convinced of the importance of pets, especially for single people, senior citizens and children. For example, pets such as budgerigars, dogs or cats would give older people the feeling that they were needed, and in adolescents the sense of responsibility increases with pets. Common examples of the importance of pets in everyday life are "police and guide dogs, but animals have also become a permanent fixture in therapy or at school," explained Loïc Moutault, Managing Director of Mars Petcare Germany. In his opinion, "many new scientific findings in the area of human-animal relationships are still too little known." In the 2013 Mars Pet Study "Dog - Cat - Human. The Germans and their pets ”, according to the company's announcement, was the first to comprehensively gather the importance of animals“ for education, social life, health and the economy. ”
Reduce healthcare costs by using pets? "Animals have a much higher value for society than we are aware of at first glance," emphasized the managing director of Mars Petcare. The animals make an important contribution as helpers in schools, as visiting animals in old people's homes or as everyday helpers for people with disabilities. Also, 85 percent of the respondents were convinced that animals should be used more for therapeutic purposes in order to counter the rising costs in the healthcare system. The costs for the purchase and maintenance of an animal are minimal, with convincing positive effects. Many respondents also spoke in favor of generally allowing pets in retirement homes.
Pets improve quality of life and emotional ties In the current study, trend researcher Professor Peter Wippermann explained that pets can make a significant contribution to improving quality of life and emotional ties. “In an environment characterized by uncertainty, pets remain constant friends and compensate for the loss of physical closeness in the relationships between people,” explained Prof. Wippermann. In the Forsa survey, around two thirds of the participants also stated that they had better conversations with other people about animals. Overall, the representative survey shows "that even most non-pet owners recognize the positive effects of pets and consider their appreciation in society to be too low," reports Mars Petcare. (fp)
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