Pets make fantastic companions and so when it came to choosing our theme for this year companionship had to be top of the list. Increasingly studies show that pets really are good for our physical and mental health. So, please show you care - read our article, share it with friends and let's make National Pet Month 2013 the best yet!
Companionship. Our pets offer this in bucket loads.
How often have you been feeling down and within a few minutes of spending time with your pet that feeling has dissipated?
Pets pick us up when we're low, provide structure to our lives, love us unconditionally and often bring a smile to our face when it's most needed.
Even the simple act of walking the dog, feeding the fish, cuddling the family rabbit or entertaining the cat with a dangly toy can have a really positive effect on our wellbeing. Just look at our pic of TV actress and NPM supporter Lu Corfield, with her beloved pooch Norma.
So, when it came to choosing this year's theme for National Pet Month, it was easy.
Your Pets and You: Companions For Life is what this year's campaign is all about.
With your support, we want to recognise and celebrate just how much companionship our pets offer us, day after day.
Right now, as you read this, hundreds, if not thousands of us, will be thanking our lucky stars for the joy of having a pet in our life.
Perhaps we've suffered a bereavement, are living alone, struggling with an illness or disability or are in our twilight years - whatever our situation, pets can provide us with much-needed comfort, companionship and, in many cases, practical help too.
In the UK we are blessed with many amazing pet charities, which through your help in staging and attending events throughout National Pet Month, we hope to raise lots of cash for.
Many of these organisations take pet companionship to an amazing level - visiting people in hospital, residential homes and schools with therapy dogs or training pets to be a person's eyes and ears, for example.
The magic of that pet-human interaction and the positive impact on our physical and mental health cannot be underestimated.
Independent studies* reveal that the health benefits of pet ownership effectively saves the NHS as much as £1.5 billion a year.
At a time when the Euro crisis continues to deepen, figures show that throughout the EU in 2010 owners spent €29 billion on their pets (equating to €12 billion in tax revenues) and social scientists studying the health benefits of pet ownership in Germany estimated savings of €5.5 billion annually.
Pet Advisory Committee chair Tracey Crouch MP says: "What this research shows is the positive contribution pets and their owners make to the economy and towards a healthy society.
"While the contribution to the economy is easier to identify, the companionship, interaction and exercise pets can give to their owners, in particular the elderly, and the effect this has on their wellbeing is of equal worth to individuals and society as a whole."
By becoming a National Pet Month supporter (for free!) at http://www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk/portal/admin/create-account you can help us promote responsible pet ownership and also help bring attention to all those local and national pet charities working tirelessly for the benefit of our nation’s pets.
So, please help us. Organise a fun event, speak to your local veterinary surgery or pet store and encourage them to get involved, go along to an event during National Pet Month and tell all your friends and family about it so we can all work TOGETHER to support the nation's pet companions and ensure they have the great life they deserve.
TOGETHER we really can make a difference.
Come join us! Celebrate with your pet companions - National Pet Month - April 1-May 6.
*Research carried out by the Pet Advisory Committee, with information to be found on the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers' Association) website www.pfma.org.uk