New report shows how dogs are making a difference in the UK

New research undertaken by tails.com reveals the significant positive effect of caring for a dog on mental wellbeing.

Working with charity partners StreetVet and Dogs for Good, with psychologist Emma Kenny, tail.com’s Dog Difference Report found that even prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, a staggering 99.7% of respondents said that caring for a dog has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

Since lockdown restrictions came into force, the role of dogs in giving support has become even more prominent with in excess of 79% of respondents saying that their dog has helped them ‘boost their mood’ and 54& ‘keep to a routine’.

Key findings from the research, of over 5,000 British households found that dogs train us to have conversations, with two-thirds of people describing their dog as a ‘four-legged therapist’ with 85% of women and 79% of men taking with their dog ‘all day long’ when they’re in the house together.

Caring for a dog can take us outside of our own problems, with 42% of people having to care for their pet rather than being able to think just about themselves was positive for their mental wellbeing.

Providing some light relief, 71% are cheered up by their dogs when times are tough and 60% saying their dogs are just really fun to be around.

For vulnerable groups, the power of dogs is particularly impactful. Case studies from ‘StreetVet’ and ‘Dogs for Good’ show how the people who are most in need, are often the ones who need their pets most.

The report findings are supported by TV psychologist Emma Kenny who commented: “For years, my patients have often indicated that having pets has reduced levels of stress, anxiety and feelings of loneliness to improve wellbeing. The Dog Difference report from tails.com evidences that impact personally, and collectively, with the benefits of caring for a dogs even more significant as we stay at home.

“I’m finding that many people are currently looking to their dogs as therapeutic companions, a silent member of the household who can always be relied upon to listen, without the fear of judgement, and who can also bring some fun and laughter into our lives.”

Head vet at tails.com, Sean McCormack understands the important role that dogs play in our lives saying: “By spending time with dogs, training them, rewarding them and caring for them they don’t just give us that love right back, they share it tenfold. What was particularly good to see in the Dog Difference study was the impact that dogs have not just with their owners but their families and communities.”

The full report can be found here. For more information visit www.tails.com.