The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has produced a new video highlighting the importance of pets in supporting the wellbeing of their owners.

The health benefits of having a pet are well proven and the subject is a central theme in NOAH’s 2015 animal health manifesto.

Pets have been calculated to save the NHS an average of £1.6bn every year, helping to reduce stress and lower blood pressure: they keep their owners fit through regular exercise and help tackle loneliness.

Children with pets are also less likely to suffer from allergies and have been shown to attend school an extra nine days a year on average.

The new film highlights the importance of pets to their owners, with a particular emphasis on the older members of our society.

It features the story of Margaret and Peter De Boltz and their beloved West Highland terrier Fleur.

The footage — which also includes an interview with Mrs De Boltz’s vet, Charles Bagnall of the Orwell Veterinary Group in Suffolk – focuses on the role that Fleur plays in her owners’ lives and why it’s vital they take her for regular check-ups to keep her fit and healthy.

Dawn Howard, NOAH chief executive, said: “Maybe we don’t need a reminder on the joy our pets bring, but there is a serious message behind this video : in order to fulfil their role in society, our pets need to be healthy — and the medicines supplied by NOAH members do their bit in helping this.

“Every year around 140,000 older people are forced to say goodbye to their pets when they move into supported accommodation. Many of these cherished companions are put down. Through our manifesto we are calling on the new Government to introduce legislation that will stop this from happening,” she added.

The video was launched at NOAH’s AGM and Annual Dinner on 21 May in London, and can be viewed here alongside other NOAH films on its YouTube channel.

28 May 2015

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information on NOAH contact Alison Glennon at NOAH, tel. +44 (0)20 8367 3131, or visit the NOAH website.

  2. The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal medicines industry: its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.

  3. Extracts of the film are taken from European Pet Night – “We care” – thanks to IFAH-Europe for their use.

  4. The NOAH manifesto for animal health is available here

  5. Pets save the NHS £1.6bn per year  (Accessed 1 December 2014) figure quoted inflated by RPI as per Time series explorer (ProPets)