Your pet might save your life...

Recent research has revealed the amazing health benefits that pets can provide. This includes helping improve the mental health of their owners by combatting PTSD, depression and anxiety, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. In fact their research found that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%.

Health Benefits

Tombola’s research reveals that:

  • Petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%
  • Aquariums in nursing homes help reduce pacing with Alzheimer’s patients
  • Therapy dogs help battle PTSD  by reducing anxiety, increasing wellbeing and in some cases saving the lives of their owners
  • Growing up in an environment surrounded by animals helps create a better immune system and benefit the body’s response to anxiety
  • Data shows that owning a pet reduced risk of heart disease and increased chances of a longer life
  • Those with pets are also less likely to suffer from depression

Top Dog Breeds That Help With Depression

  1. Labrador
  2. Viszla
  3. Poodle

Top Cat Breeds That Help With Depression

  1. Sphynx
  2. Ragdoll
  3. Main Coon

Top Dog Breeds That Need The Most Exercise

  1. Border Collie
  2. Weimaraner
  3. Springer Spaniel

Real Life Examples

Tombola also have real life examples of pets that have saved people lives, helped with anxiety and depression and seen them through tough times. Below are a few examples.


Max’s owner suffers from PTSD and mix personality disorder. Before rescuing his canine friend he was struck in his home too frightened to enter the world. Max gives him the motivation to leave the house and helps him when he’s feeling down, never leaving his side. Max’s owner doesn’t think he would be here today if it wasn’t for him.


Poppy’s owner suffered a mental breakdown and found it hard to deal with the reality of being a single Mum. Her daughter suggested getting a cat and this has helped ease her anxiety and depression. She now can’t imagine life without Poppy by her side.  

Debunking Pet Myths

Additional research compiled by Tombola has debunked several pet myths. Just like humans, pets use their body language to show you how they’re feeling. But it can be so easy to misread them.

How To Speak Pet

Here’s Tombola’s top tips on how to speak pet which debunk many common pet myths.


  • A cat blinking means that they love you
  • If a cat hooks its tail forwards then it likes you
  • If a cat’s tail moves when it’s sleeping this means that it’s relaxed but focussed on something
  • Often mistaken for shock, a wide mouth cat is actually just trying to smell more clearly


  • If a dog wags its tail to the right this means they like the person
  • If a dog wags its tail to the left this means they are wary of the person, or that they may be a stranger
  • If a dog wags it tail while barking and hard staring then it’s either too stimulated or irritated
  • A lifted paw means that a dog is fearful or anticipating their next meal 


  • When a rabbit thumps its hind legs this is a sign that it senses danger and is fearful
  • A content rabbit will chatter their teeth like a purr when they are happy
  • If a rabbit circles you it’s because they want your attention
  • Happy rabbits often run around the room, kick up their feet and turn while in the air

Putting Your Pets First

Our furry friends can suffer from the same mental illnesses we do. In fact, vets regularly give antidepressants to dogs to treat stress-related issues. Now let’s help them: