New report quantifies economic benefits of UK pets

Pets account for millions of pounds worth of economic activity in the UK and may reduce NHS costs by nearly two and a half billion pounds, according to a new report published today.

Drawing on multiple sources, and written by internationally respected animal welfare and business experts, Companion Animal Economics comprehensively documents the economic impact of pets in the UK – the first time such an assessment has been made for nearly 40 years.

The study directly examines available evidence on the direct and indirect benefits and costs of companion animals to society, including their influence on human mental and physical health, illness prevention and well-being.

Published by CABI, Companion Animal Economics was developed by Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln, and Dr Sandra McCune, Human-Animal Interaction expert at Mars Petcare’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition. Viewed as a critical piece of work in the mission to drive a broader understanding of pets’ ability to make a better world for us all, Mars Petcare UK provided sponsorship towards the cost of producing the report.

Other authors include Dr Sophie Hall from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, Professor Ted Fuller and Luke Dolling from the Lincoln International Business School, and Katie Bristow-Wade of Dogs for Good.

Professor Daniel Mills said: “Vets are well aware how important companion animals are to their owners, but it is important that they appreciate the positive impact that they can have on the physical, mental and social health of both individuals and society more widely. This book should help raise awareness of this and their economic importance in times of uncertainty.”

To read the full story, visit the University website.