“Can dogs support wellbeing?”

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Dogs are a man’s best friend for a reason. The benefits of spending time with a furry friend are endless – and they benefit from spending time with us humans too. So how can dogs support wellbeing?

Improve your mood and health

Dogs have many positive effects on our health, from lowering blood pressure to weight loss, and they also benefit you psychologically too. Spending just 15 minutes with a lovable dog can increase your happiness levels, reduce stress and make you feel less lonely.

If you ever struggle with mental health problems like depression know that the Animal Health Company found that regular exercise with a dog can be as effective as taking antidepressants for treating mild to moderate cases.

Increase your step count

You won’t find a more eager cardio companion than a fluffy canine.

As Women’s Fitness explained, “if you’re struggling for some motivation, or just fancy a bit of company while you pound the pavement, taking a poochie pal with you could be the perfect solution.”

Many dog owners admit that they wouldn’t walk as often if they didn’t have their dog waiting for the next walk. Whether you borrow or own a pup, on average you’ll end up walking an extra hour a day compared to those without a dog.

You’ll make more friends

Not only do people become more sociable when they have a dog in their life, but they also become less shy. A dog can often be a great conversation starter.

In a global study conducted by the University of Western Australia, it was found that pet owners were 60% more likely to get to know people in their local area than those without a pet.

Hector the labrador is from Hove. Has a human, will trade for treats.

Make more friends

According to the 2018 PDSA and YouGov PAW report, of over 9 million dogs in the UK and Ireland, 16% are walked less than once a day. Vets estimate that 46% of dogs are overweight or obese.

Often, dog owners need a helping hand when life gets busy or circumstances change. Ill health, family issues and employment changes are often cited as reasons for needing to re-home a dog.

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Sharing the care of a dog could help prevent rehoming situations or relieve the pressure on stressed out owners.

And that warm fuzzy feeling when you know you’ve helped someone out just can’t be beaten – except maybe by a mood-lifting, cuddle loving, conversation starting pup!

So – spending time with a dog could improve your own mental and physical wellbeing.

But what if you can’t own a dog at the moment?

The seagulls aren’t going to fill that dog shaped hole in your life, that’s for sure. BorrowMyDoggy is a platform that enables dog lovers to connect with dog owners who need a helping paw.

Bonny, a relatively new member of the borrowing community from Hove, says “I found my ideal dog/family combination… I get to see new dog profiles, I’m happy to recommend it to dog owners I meet and I think it’s very community minded.”

You can find out more about borrowing dogs in Brighton or joining the community as a dog owner on the BorrowMyDoggy website.[

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