Dignity Health Highlights the Health and Happiness Benefits of Pet Companionship

National survey from health system finds 88% of pet parents said their pet helped improve their mental health

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Dignity Health, one of the largest health systems in the nation, released today the results of a national survey showcasing the healing benefits of pet companionship. Pets are boosting our mood, improving our physical and mental health, and helping us better connect in our personal relationships, according to the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. residents with a cat or dog.

“Dignity Health believes in the power of humankindness, connection, and companionship to improve our health, and the same can be said about our connection to our pets,” said Dignity Health psychologist Dr. Stephanie Parmely. “This survey brings to life the tremendous health benefits of simply interacting and being with pets, something we often see through our hospital’s pet therapy programs.”

Whether in a hospital or at home, pets can provide the emotional support that people may need, especially in times of stress. In fact, the survey found that those who have a pet turn to their pet first for comfort after a difficult day, before significant others, friends or family members. Additionally, 95% of pet parents said their pet makes them a happier person.

Key Survey Findings Include:

Pets are improving our mental health:

  • 88% shared that their pet has helped to improve their mental health.
  • Those who believe their pet improves their mental health also share their pet has improved the quality of their life (94%).
  • The majority of pet parents (93%) report their pet has brightened a difficult day for them
  • 62% said their pets are always there to listen during challenging times, whereas only 38% said the same of their significant others and 23% said the same of their friends.

Pets build friendship and improve our social relationships:

  • 64% of pet parents feel that their pet has made them a more social person.
  • 66% report that their pet has made them a better friend to others
  • 67% of pet parents believe that their pet has taught them skills that have helped to improve their personal relationships.

Pets make us happier and healthier:

  • 95% of pet parents said their pet makes them a happier person and 81% share that their pet has made them a healthier person.
  • 85% of pet parents who have had a major health issue shared that their pet helped to make them healthier.
  • 83% share that their pet has made them a more active person.

To help more people benefit from the healing companionship of pets, Dignity Health is partnering with The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas to offer free cat and dog adoptions on Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10.

The partnership and national survey complements Dignity Health’s latest TV advertisement which highlights the joy a pet can bring.

Methodology: Dignity Health surveyed 1,000 dog and cat owners over the age of 18 in the U.S. Fielding was executed in August 2019.

About Dignity Health

Dignity Health is a multi-state nonprofit network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care-centers, including community hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. In FY2018, Dignity Health provided $2.1 billion in charitable care and services. Dignity Health is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit health system committed to advancing health for all people and dedicated to serving the common good. For more information, please visit our website at DignityHealth.org.

Contacts

Media Contact
Amber Schlaefer
Allison+Partners
DignityHealth@allisonpr.com
(623) 201-5557

Release Summary

A new national survey from Dignity Health revealed that pets helped improve 88% of pet parents' mental health, and made them generally happier.

Contacts

Media Contact
Amber Schlaefer
Allison+Partners
DignityHealth@allisonpr.com
(623) 201-5557