Looking to lose a few kilograms, or just increase your activity levels – get a dog.

Owning a dog makes you 4 times more likely to get your recommended level of weekly exercise. The University of Liverpool found that dog owners are generally more active than people without dogs.

There are many benefits to owning pets (not just dogs). They provide company and comfort which helps fight depression and loneliness and makes people happier all round. Quite simply they improve our health.

Pets can help boost children’s self-esteem with their unconditional love. They encourage them to play outside and be more active. Children learn the responsibility of caring for another living being.

They can help protect the family from unwanted visitors (how soon before we see a cat fighting off a burglar on YouTube?).

Pets are just great fun to have around and provide a convenient foot warmer during the cold winter.