A new survey has revealed that over two thirds of Brits believe our pets are living healthier, younger and longer lives, with as many as nine in ten UK pet owners claiming their cat or dog is full of vitality - healthy and full of life.  

The poll of 2,000 Brits uncovers some of the strong beliefs the nation has when it comes to our pets’ quality of life. Some even believe our pets could now be living an additional three years longer due to supporting their vitality. This would mean that the well-known rule of seven human years to every dog year is no longer the case. Now it would be much closer to five human years.

The findings from IAMS reinforce that we’re a nation of animal lovers with 69 per cent claiming that the most important thing in taking care of your pet is showing them love. Perhaps why almost half prioritise regular tummy tickles and 56 per cent believe their pet smiles when they are happy. In fact, going for long walks, happily playing with toys, eating all of their own food and socialising with both people and other animals are among the signs of a happy pet.

Meanwhile, over half believe the most important contribution to their pet’s happiness and wellbeing is a fit heart, while one in five also think a strong immune system helps in addition to a strong and shiny coat. In order to support this, 63 per cent of owners feed them a complete and balanced diet, more than a third buy new toys and almost a half ensure they get regular health check-ups at the vet. A further one in five think a healthy digestion contributes to their pet’s overall vitality and more than half believe nutrition has a large impact on level of happiness.

However, for some 214,500[1] UK pets, their owners admit that they could be doing more to support their health and vitality. Probably why although a confident seven in 10 believe their furry friend is generally ‘very happy’, a third think they could be happier.

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

In fact, a quarter of respondents admitted they struggle to tell why their pet is unhappy but four in five believe they can see physically if their cat or dog is full of vitality. Almost half – 47 per cent – of those polled also admitted if their pet is unhappy, they are unhappy too.

However, less than half said their pet goes for long walks, socialises with other animals and suffers from bad breath, all signs that they could use a little bit of TLC. A further 15 per cent also find their cat or dog is ‘anxious’ around people and fellow furry friends meaning there could be social or behavioural problems.

When it comes to food, two in five admitted their animal eats human food and over a quarter have ‘lots’ of treats, both of which in excess can have a negative impact on your pet’s health and vitality. 

Kellie Ceccarelli, IAMS Veterinary Manager and Pet Nutrition Expert said: “Most of us are familiar with vital signs: temperature, pulse and respiration, but it would help our pets if we were also familiar with the ‘vitality signs.’ Keeping a close eye on these will help us keep our pets in tip top condition, healthy and happy. Pet owners have a unique bond with their pets, understanding their moods and funny little ways. But even though the bonds are very close, even the most caring owner can miss important ‘clues’ about the health and happiness of their pet if they don’t keep a watchful eye on their vitality signs.

“Thankfully we have lots of tools at our disposal for ensuring our pets are healthy. 100% complete and balanced nutrition will support healthy vitality, alongside regular exercise, interaction and veterinary check-ups, meaning your pet’s true personality can shine through every day.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The vitality signs for your pet's health

  1. Healthy heart
  2. Healthy skin and shiny coat
  3. Strong immune system
  4. Healthy digestion
  5. Strong muscles
  6. Strong, healthy teeth
  7. Strong bones (for dogs)
  8. Healthy urinary tract (for cats)

Do you think your pet is full of vitality? Take this quiz to find out how happy your cat or dog is and how you can better support their vitality.

To help you select the right diet for your pet, why not learn more about IAMS for Vitality, which offers both cats and dogs a superior diet with high-quality animal protein and tailored recipes to support them at each lifestage. www.iams.co.uk


Survey of 2,000 adults by IAMS and One Poll, November 2019

[1]Calculation based on 1.3% of pet owners believing they could better support their pet and PFMA reports which show there are 16.5m pet cats and dogs living in the UK