It’s official: owning a dog improves your mental health

90% of dog owners surveyed said owning a dog improved their mental health

It’s long been known that owning a dog brings joy to your life, but recent research from Pure Pet Food shows just how big an impact our furry friends have on our mental outlook. With a whopping 90% of participants stating that owning a dog has improved their mental health, it’s clear just how much we value the company of our four-legged best friends.
And it’s an even stronger link for singles – 95% of single respondents agreed that owning a dog improved their mental health, while 87% of married respondents said the same.
Breaking down the data further, it’s easy to see why dogs are deemed man’s best friend – it’s the companionship our dogs provide that has the biggest impact on our mental health, followed by being encouraged to get outside more – something that’s doubly beneficial for us during the cold winter months. In fact, 22% of respondents said their main motivation for getting a dog was for the companionship.
On the topic of our dogs improving our mental health, Rosie Bescoby BSc (Hons), PG Dip CABC, CCAB, canine behaviourist on Pure Pet Food’s Pet Panel adds: “There is a wealth of research to show that dog ownership improves human physical and mental health and this was particularly highlighted during the Covid pandemic lockdowns. They provide companionship, improve sociability, provide daily opportunities for fresh air and exercise, reduce blood pressure, increase an owner’s perception of safety and reduce stress levels. For children, dog ownership helps develop empathy, reduces risk of infection and perception of pain.”
Andrew Miller BVSc MRCVS, vet on Pure Pet Food’s Pet Panel says: “Our dogs bring us so much happiness, and we always want to do the best for them too. Keeping them healthy from the inside with a high-quality food like Pure is a great way to do this. As well as getting lots of physical exercise, you can keep their minds happy and active with games such as sniffing out treats, feeding from a licki mat, playing hide and seek or tug games.”