New Battersea Research Finds Third of Owners Say Pets Improve Mental Health As Poll Reveals Average UK Person Watches 17 Minutes of Online Animal Content Each Day

23 Feb 2024

The average adult in the UK spends 17 minutes each day watching animal content online according to new research from animal welfare charity Battersea. Millennials (35-44 year olds) were the most likely to be scrolling social media for animal content, with one in ten watching animal videos for over half an hour each day. Survey participants reported feeling happier (41%), more relaxed (21%) and less anxious or stressed (12%) after engaging with animal content.

The research has been shared by Battersea as they launch their new campaign, ‘We’re All In, For Them’, which aims to increase awareness of the work the charity does at their centres and beyond to help millions of dogs and cats. The new campaign includes the release of a short film which shows the lengths Battersea's staff and volunteers go to every day to expertly support animals that need them, not just at their centres but across the world.

The emotional connection we build with dogs and cats in real life is something felt by many in the UK. Over a third (39%) of owners said that the unconditional love and joy that having a pet brings has improved their mental health and wellbeing, with 35 per cent saying their pet has also reduced feelings of loneliness.  

Bridie Williams, Rehoming & Welfare Manager at Battersea's London centre said: “At Battersea we see every day just how important dogs and cats are to the lives of so many, whether that’s supporting people to better understand their pets, or spending time getting to know each animal that comes into our care. Understanding dogs and cats and their unique personalities and needs is at the heart of everything we do, at our centres, and in collaboration with other organisations.”

Beyond highlighting the vital work that goes on behind the scenes at its centres to prepare animals for new lives, Battersea is also seeking to increase awareness of the work it does to help dogs and cats across the UK and around the world. Battersea’s new research found that less than half of people surveyed were aware that animal charities do more than take in animals and find them new homes. The charity hopes the new campaign will show people the breadth of work that they do, including providing free training for owners, campaigning for laws to protect animals and supporting other animal organisations in the UK and overseas through funding and education programmes.

Bridie added, “Battersea has been helping animals for over 160 years and we are proud of our rich history of taking in animals in need and finding them new homes. However, our commitment to being here for every dog and cat doesn’t end there. We use our care and expertise to help improve the lives of millions of animals that we’ll never meet, through training, campaigning, funding and more. We’ll do whatever it takes to make the world a better place for dogs and cats. However they may need us and wherever they are, we’re all in, for them.”

To watch Battersea’s short film and find out more about the new campaign visit

For further information or interviews please contact Images can be downloaded here.


Notes to editors 

  • The research for Battersea was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 14.02.2024-16.02.2024 amongst a panel resulting in 2,000 respondents including 1,000 UK dog and cats owners responding.
  • At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere. 
  • In 2022 Battersea directly cared for 2,278 dogs and 2,253 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through our campaigning work, supporting other rescue centres and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners.
  • We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. To donate to Battersea, visit:
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ , Instagram @battersea or