The new research by Mars Petcare suggests that pet ownership prevents around 2.8 million GP visits a year, with owners visiting their doctor 11 per cent less frequently than non-pet owners.
So what makes pet owners healthier than non-pet owners?
The researchers discovered that pet owners exercise more with their animals, and consequently sleep better and feel fitter. Moreover, they often feel happier with their furry companions, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and hospital, and less sick days from work.
According to the study, that’s an estimated $1.25 billion in savings for the public health system each year.
MARS Petcare also discovered that if pet ownership was increased by 10 per cent in Australia, the public health system could save an extra $202 million per year.
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