May 22, 2022, 8:00

    Dog owners are happier than those without a pet, says new study

    Dog owners are happier than those without a pet, says new study

    Dogs are more than just snuggle buddies – research shows that owning a pup can positively impact your health and wellbeing.

    According to a new report, dog owners are happier than those without a pet, and much less lonely.

    The study of 2,000 adults found that those with a dog have 69 per cent more 'meaningful' interactions and opportunities for social interaction.

    But that's not where the benefits to having a dog end – pets have a huge positive influence on those with disabilities too.

    Over eighty per cent of disabled dog owners attribute their social interactions and connections to their pooch.

    Dogs really can chase away loneliness

    Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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    The report was commissioned by MORE THAN Insurance and UK charity Dogs for Good to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-15) and the theme of loneliness.

    The pair joined forces with TV presenter, Lorraine Kelly, and her border terrier, Angus, to highlight the joy our four-legged friends bring.

    In the video, Lorraine takes viewers on her favourite dog walk and captures people stopping, smiling and chatting to her about her beloved pooch.

    Lorraine said: "My dog has been instrumental in improving my mental health and just taking Angus out for a walk is great exercise, it helps me mentally and it means I meet lots of people on our walks.

    Lorraine Kelly says Angus helped her make new friends


    "I didn’t know many people when I first moved from Scotland but taking Angus out was the best way to make friends in my new home.

    "Dogs truly are such a valuable part of so many of our lives, and the work of Dogs for Good clearly makes a huge difference to many people with disabilities."

    The study also found more than half of disabled dog owners have developed deeper, longer lasting friendships with someone they met when out for a walk.

    In comparison, 50 per cent of non-dog owners said they rarely interact with new people.

    The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week this year is loneliness

    Getty Images)

    Peter Gorbing, CEO of Dogs for Good, added: "We know how hard it can be for some people to experience social interactions regularly, particularly those with disabilities who may be more susceptible to social isolation.

    "Dog ownership presents opportunities for social interactions that have long-term positive benefits on the lives of owners – both physically and mentally.

    "Our work is focussed on assisting disabled people to live more independently at home, enabling them to play an active role in their wider community if they wish.

    "Creating opportunities for greater social interaction is an important part of that process —and what better way to do that than by having a four-legged companion by your side."

    You can share your experience of social interactions with your dog on Dogs for Good website.

    Do you have a dog story to tell? Contact

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