Mercury Tasmania, ELIZABETH LORD | November 14, 2012
Kylie Connelly, 19, of Berridale, with Benji, a five-month-old malamute, and Bella a one-year-old maltese shih tzu. Picture: RICHARD JUPE
THE unconditional love of man’s best friend is helping bring a smile to our faces, a survey reveals.
The Study of Pet Companionship has found 68 per cent of Tasmanians living with pets believe they are important contributors to their happiness.
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and La Trobe University Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett, a companion-animal relationship expert, said the study confirmed their importance in our lives.
She said the reliable companionship pets provided helped improve psychological and physical wellbeing.
Jenny Grace, of Margate, who looks after her granddaughter’s dog Jasper four to five days a week, said she wouldn’t be without a dog or a cat.
“Their companionship, the way they just love you unconditionally, they’re just beautiful.”
The study also shows 59 per cent of Australians aged between 16 and 34 rely on pets for comfort.
Kylie Connelly, 19, of Berriedale, says being with her dogs Benji and Bella helps relieve stress.
“Just to go home after a busy day to be with the dogs, it’s good stress relief and they’re part of the family,” she said.
Colgate has launched a Smile for Change pet gallery on its Facebook page. For every photo uploaded, $1 will be donated to The Smith Family.