Learning how to keep pets healthy and happy
Did you know that looking after a pet can improve your own wellbeing? 5th Gidea Park Brownies went along to Pets at Home to find out more
‘Pets can definitely help us stay healthy,’ says Linda Taylor, Unit Leader for the 5th Gidea Park Brownies. ‘Taking your dog for a walk every day will keep you fit, of course, but looking after the welfare of a pet also teaches responsibility and how to consider its needs. That’s why our unit took part in a free My Pet Pals workshop at Pets at Home: we wanted to find out more about how to care for animals.’
Paws for thought
Looking after an animal will not only help to keep it happy and healthy, but can have long-lasting benefits for our own mental and physical health too – and there’s plenty of research to back this up.
According to a study published in the Journal of Personality, pet owners have higher self-esteem and a better feeling of belonging – while a study of women in China found that owners exercised more, took fewer sick days and visited the doctor less often than those without a pet.
The best news is that you don’t even need to own an animal to get these benefits. Simply being in the presence of a pet can work wonders, as Linda’s unit discovered: ‘We discussed how, if you’re having a bad day, you can always talk to a pet as it won’t criticise or judge you,’ she explains. ‘And, as a bonus, the girls gained confidence in themselves just by getting up close and personal with animals they hadn’t encountered or handled before.’
As one of our partners, Pets at Home kindly offers all Rainbow, Brownie and Guide groups the chance to take part in free My Pet Pals workshops in store.
These help the girls learn about animal welfare and responsible pet care while being a great opportunity to meet some animals up close! There are more than 425 Pets at Home stores across the UK, which offer everything pets need – plus support and advice from a highly qualified team, most of whom are experienced pet owners themselves.