According to the world animal foundation, 62% of UK households have pets and more than half of UK adults own a pet. It’s fair to say that we are a nation of animal lovers and for many of us, no house is home without a small companion animal.
However, new research from puppies.es has highlighted the most popular emotional support animals in the UK and the results are definitely amazing. Unsurprisingly, the two most popular pets were cats and dogs, but the third most popular was…snakes?! This is especially surprising given that 2 in 5 Britons are afraid of the slithering creatures…
According direct veterinary helpA common choice of beginner pet snake, corn snakes are docile, easy to care for, and easy to handle. So we think they would actually be sweet companions to have around!
Animals are good for mental well-being
Puppies.co.uk rounded up the 20 most popular emotional support animals, which included ferrets at number 11, goats at 16 and even pigeons at number 20.
According vanessa louis mooreemotional health coach and expert in well-being and personal care, animals are great for our well-being and comfort:
“They seem to thrive on the affection and attention we give them and are eager to play and interact most of the time. This helps keep our focus away from our overthinking minds, our worries, and our problems, which is often a repeating cycle of the same old thoughts and beliefs every day. Overthinking can be mentally exhausting and draining, and animals allow our minds to run free while we play and care for them.”
Virginie Ferguson, owner of clan welfare added: “Animals have a huge impact on our nervous system. Like humans, most mammals transmit their emotional state and nervous system through the upper part of their faces. We can recognize signs of threats like fight or flight or even freeze.”
“On the other hand, this is also how mammals co-regulate and calm each other’s nervous systems to become ‘safe and social.'”
Dr. Stephen Porges, the father of polyvagal theory, mentions dogs in his lectures, namely that the face of a relaxed dog will help calm our nervous system into the relaxation response, which in turn will reduce our stress levels and blood pressure.
The most popular emotional support animals in the UK
- bearded dragons
- Guinea pigs
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