April 23, 2019
In the UK It is estimated that approximately 1 in 2 households have a pet and according to a survey carried out by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, the Top 10 Pets are (from most to least): Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Indoor Birds, Domestic Fowl, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Tortoises/Turtles, Lizards and finally Snakes.
1st April – 6th May sees National Pet Month celebrating its 30th year. The aim of the organisation is to spread the word on responsible pet ownership, make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets, increase public awareness of the role of pet care specialists and to raise awareness of the value of working and assistance companion animals.
- Henry, 12 Yr Old Corgi-Retriever cross owned by Lynn our HR Manager
The decision to take a pet on is one that should never be taken lightly. Whatever the species you have undertaken to look after, it is your responsibility as an owner to ensure that the basic needs of the animal are being met. Essentially this would be that they are fed a well-balanced and nutritious diet, that they have suitable housing/bedding, that they are kept clean and that you utilise veterinarians to ensure they are protected from any diseases that the species are susceptible to. Basically, if it can be applied to raising a human child it can be applied to the animal also (although, please don’t take your child to the vet)
Money in the Kitty?
Whether you already own a pet, or are considering getting one, you should always ensure that you thoroughly research the cost of keeping it as the likelihood to grossly underestimate the amount is quite high.
A study of 10,000 owners, as carried out by MORE TH>N, found that 58% of Dog owners and 83% of cat owners did no prior research as to the associated cost of owning their chosen animal. 1 in 5 did not even consider that there was any research to be done in the first place.
To put the cost into perspective, the number of people in the UK who own a dog or cat are a staggering 9 Million for Dogs and 7.5 Million for Cats (source - RSPCA), and those owners are spending on average £100-£240 a month across all elements of ownership from feeding to grooming and insurance. This equates to the UK Pet industry for these two species alone being worth around £34 Billion a year!
When it comes to the animal’s health, the research also revealed that only 6 in 10 dogs and 3 in 10 cats were insured. With no animal NHS and veterinary fees being high the potential cost to an owner should their pet unexpectedly fall ill or be injured can be substantial. The resultant outcome of situations where this happens is that some owners would quickly find themselves in debt by reaching for the credit card for a bill that will likely be in the thousands or in the worst-case scenario facing having to have an animal euthanised because they cannot afford treatment or long-term care.
- My Dogs, Sassi-Belle (4) & Boo (7)
We are all aware of the obvious roles that animals play in our life, such as assistance dogs for the blind and the hearing impaired, but they also have a use that may not be as apparent to some people and is something that comes quite naturally to them.
Pets can give their owners a reason to be active, provide companionship and can also help reduce stress and instil a sense of calm. The link between animals and mental health is one that is steadily being recognised and I am sure that many pet owners can testify to the calming effect that their animal of choice can have on them.
For those amongst us for whom daily interactions are a struggle, they offer judgement free company and someone to talk to and share worries with. They will simply sit, listen and love you. And for some of us, that is all that’s needed. There are some however where something more is required in that having a pet can make socialising that little bit easier. For example, having a dog would encourage the owner to go out and that in turn increases the possibilities of having to interact with others and the dog in those situations would then act as an icebreaker by being a conversation starter.
Whatever the animal, the breadth of issues that studies are showing an animal can assist with is amazing. From depression and loneliness to children with ADHD or Autism, the benefits of having a pet in your life are seemingly endless.
The Smart Phones of today make it easier than ever to immortalise the lives of our faithful companions. It would be fair to say that the camera roll of a family pet owner will have just as many photos of their furry kids as it does their actual kids. In fact, upwards of 10% of pets have their own social media account and tend to be more popular than their human counterpart in terms of followers and ‘likes’.
The staff at Spencers are no exception, so here are just a few of the family members brightening their lives.
About the Author
Dominic O'Neil is an Accounts Assistant within our Accounts Team.
Dominic, who has worked for the business since August 2002, originally started his tenure as an Admin Assistant before changing direction and joining the Accounts Department. As an Accounts Assistant, Dominic provides day to day support to all our teams and is responsible for processing daily accounts transactions in addition to other varied duties.