National Best Friends Day: Dogs really are our best friends

Dogs really are a man and woman’s best friend due to the positive effect on our happiness and wellbeing, according to new research.

The new research reveals that almost half of the nation (47%) class their dog as their best friend and more than three quarters think that having a pet improves their general wellbeing.

The study of over 1,000 UK pet owners* was commissioned by raw and natural pet food experts Natures Menu was released ahead of National Best Friends Day on 8 June.

Dogs come out on top as the best pet to make us feel the happiest (47%), followed by our feline friends (24%). Pets also pip others to the post for making men feel consistently happy (43%), followed by family (42%) and friends (12%).

The survey also uncovered the nation’s favourite activities to do with their dog:

  1. Going for a walk (46%)
  2. Cuddling them (21%)
  3. Finding new places to explore (10%)
  4. Playing games with them (10%)
  5. Watching TV together (9%)

Sian Murphy, a freelance dog trainer from Cwmcarn in Wales, is the owners of Storm who is fed on Natures Menu and has experienced first-hand the impact that owning a dog can have.

She said: “I first adopted four-year old Collie Cross Storm when I was just 15 years old, to help with my confidence issues that had caused me great difficulty when growing up. With Storm also suffering from a lack of self-esteem, we instantly connected and formed a very special bond. Storm has taught me so much, allowing me to make new friends and go on some amazing adventures.

“However, with my confidence growing due to Strom, I realised that he also needed a friend to help build up his. This is where Ellie came in; a three-year old Whippet Cross. When I adopted Ellie, I didn’t realise she was going blind and would eventually need constant care, but Storm stepped in to help. Storm has become Ellie’s guide, allowing her to lean in him as they walk and reassuring her whenever needed.

“Seeing the impact that Ellie and Storm have on each other’s lives, I couldn’t help but adopt a third dog, with Jetstream being the final addition to my terrific trio. Jetstream’s unfortunate start to life made him incredibly fearful, but with little help from my friends, his confidence is growing.

“Storm, Jetstream and Ellie have not only helped me become the person I am, the fantastic trio have also grown in confidence with the help of each other. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and would most definitely say they are the best of friends and my greatest friends too.”

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager at Natures Menu said: “Due to their loving nature and adorable enthusiasm, it’s no wonder most Brits class their dog as their best friend. However, not only does owning a pet mean that you get to spend time with your best friend every day, it is also proven that pets improve our mental wellbeing too.

“This National Best Friends Day we ask that owners take extra care of their precious pooches by providing them with a nutritional and complete diet with Natures Menu.”

For more information on Natures Menu you can visit www.naturesmenu.co.uk.

*Research by The Leadership Factor conducted in July 2018 with 1,006 UK pet owners and in March 2018 with 1,001 UK pet owners.