OWNING a pet increases the chances of people in north Wales of being both happy and successful, according to a study.

Research set up by McCarthy and Stone via OnePoll.com quizzed 1,000 dog and cat owners over the age of 55, and 1,000 adults of the same age without a pet.

It found that those in north Wales with canine and feline companionships were twice as likely to consider themselves a success.

It also showed that those with a pet to keep them company are lucky enough to bring home up to £10,000 more annually than those without and pet owners are also more likely to be married, have a child, and bag themselves a University degree.

Development company McCarthy and Stone say they created the poll in order to determine what effects having a furry friend in our lives can have on our health and wellbeing.

Fiona Brooks, regional sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone, said: “These findings back-up our view that pet ownership can have many positive benefits for the over 55s.

"At McCarthy & Stone, we understand the importance of this relationship all too well. Questions about our pet-friendly policy are always top of the list for pet owners who are considering downsizing.

"Well-behaved pets are always welcome in all of our developments, so homeowners can enjoy all of these advantages during their retirement years."

Having recently opened the Plas Glanrafon development in Benllech, McCarthy and Stone say that residents are reaping the benefits of being allowed to have pets as company.

Glyn Davies, who lives at Glanrafon, says he was initially worried about moving in but found that he settled in quickly with the help of his dog, Matt.

"I had a few concerns about moving into an apartment with my rescue dog Matt, who has a number of insecurity issues," he explained.

"I needn’t have worried though as he has settled in so well at Plas Glanrafon, and is also so much more relaxed.

"Matt has become my best friend and is with me most of the time. He enjoys a variety of walks and playing in the sea on the lovely island of Anglesey.

"The apartment has proved ideal for the both of us, with a good sizes enclosed patio area for Matt, where he can enjoy watching the world go by. I couldn’t ask for more!"