The Selling Point

Depressed? The Pet Effect Recommends Cat

Feeling stressed lately? Get a cat.

Benefits of cat ownership include reduced risk of heart attack, relieved depression, accelerated heart attack recovery, lowered blood pressure, lessened risk of allergies and eczema in children, reduced stress levels, and more. At least, according to the latest studies, it does.

The Pet Effect is an initiative by scientists, researchers, veterinarians, and pet people who strongly believe in the power of pet ownership. Research has found that owning a cat or dog is linked to such physical health benefits as heart attack survival and cardiovascular disease as well as mental ones like stress and depression.

The Campaign

Their marketing campaign mirrors that of prescription drugs that we all see on the television every day. Whether watching Prescription Dog or Prescription Cat, the viewer is introduced to a list of symptoms that a lot of us experience often: "Discover relief from fatigue, depression, and stress."

The series of images then fade from a sad and dreary gray scale to colorful and happy images as the narrator outlines the benefits of dog ownership. These are all benefits that we know very well, although we may not have thought of before.

Related Article: Pet Products That Encourage the Human-Animal Bond

The video transitions into the fast-talking side-effects we're all used to phasing out during regular pharmaceutical commercials. Instead of warning of death, cancer, nausea, and all the other "extremely rare cases," however, The Pet Effect video uses relatable scenarios draw the connection between dog owners and those small moments that make us love our pets.

"Side effects may include: Talking in ridiculous dog voices, picking up poop, making funny faces, being jealous of your dog kissing on people, pretending your dog has a job and has to pay rent, excessive social media posts..."

Unlike most pharmaceutical commercials, you won't want to press fast-forward - instead, you might not be able to help as a smile creeps on your face. Yep, my cat definitely does that - and yes, it does make me laugh (therefore feeling joy - the opposite of depression).

Spread the Word

Although The Pet Effect's campaign is good for bringing a smile to any pet professional's face, that's not all it's there for. It's our job to spread the word; to help people understand the true health benefits of pet ownership.

The goal is to help change perceptions and policies about pets in a world where pet ownership is increasingly being looked at as "out" and pet parenting is "in."

Related Article: What Does the Humanization of Pets Mean for Pet Food?

According to The Pet Effect's website, "people of influence are using these discoveries to make decisions—from doctors who are recommending pets to their patients, to policy makers who are working to loosen restrictions on where pets can be with their people."

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the science for yourself on The Pet Effect's fun, user-friendly interactive website. Watch the videos. Share with your customers and fellow pet lovers. Because the effect of pet ownership is real, and no one in the pet industry should want that taken away.



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