Pet ownership has a place in primary health care, and possibly as a minor part of public health policy. A number of researchers have established the benefits of having pets, or more correctly, "companion animals", as part of a household - especially for those who live alone, as do many elderly people. Pet owning is undoubtedly popular in Australia and in many other countries, but before endorsing the benefits of companion animals as part of a client's household, questions arise which go beyond merely agreeing that "pets are good for you". For example, if recommending pet ownership to clients, primary care practitioners need to be aware of possible disadvantages. Some may want to go further and examine the reasons for the benefits, and those who are pet owners themselves may also want to consider the welfare of the animals.