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As Blue Monday Strikes, New Research Shows Dogs Bring Joy
16th January, 2023 12h46
Though survey also reveals owners’ worries that cost of living will force them apart – as Dogs Trust sets up dog food banks
On Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, a Dogs Trust survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of the UK’s dog owners – more than eight in ten (86%) - said their dog helps them feel more positive if they’re feeling down.
In the survey, carried out by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust, more than eight in ten (84%) of the respondents said spending time with their dog, such as playing with them or taking them for a walk, made them feel more positive. 81% said their dog is important to their mental health, with half – 50% - saying their dog was ‘very important’ to their mental health.
Given how much people rely on their dogs for their wellbeing, it’s especially stark that the survey also revealed a third of dog owners (31%) are worried that the cost of living will impact their ability to give their dog all the care it needs in 2023.
Giving up dogs in ‘23
Perhaps even more worryingly the research, carried out last week by YouGov on behalf of Dogs Trust, highlighted dog owners’ worries about being able to keep hold of their dogs as the crisis grinds on. Ominously, 3% said the impact of the continuing cost of living crisis will mean they will have to give up their dog before 2023 is out. A further 3% said they’d have to consider giving up their dog this year.
After Dogs Trust, the UK’s biggest canine charity, received a record number of inquiries last year – more than 50,000 – from dog owners about giving up their dogs, there is a danger that this year could be even worse: by 10 January, the charity had already received 1956 handover requests – shockingly, almost a 50% increase from the same period in 2022*.
Dogs Trust reaches out
Today Dogs Trust has launched a national brand campaign about the importance of dogs to our lives. The charity’s new campaign aims to let people know the charity is there if they need extra help; offering training, advice and support in a crisis to protect the relationship between people and their dogs.
Doggy food banks
Although it will give a temporary home to dogs in need, Dogs Trust’s priority is to keep dogs at home with the people who love them the most. The charity is doing all it can to minimise the number of people who are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to give up their dog as the UK continues to reel from the financial crisis and it has set up dog food banks at some of its rehoming centres across the UK; see here for the locations.
These food banks are open to anybody who is having trouble stretching to a canine mouth to feed. In addition, Dogs Trust is offering a discounted rate on its Dog Schooltraining classes, to help owners who might be experiencing behavioural problems.
Owen Sharp, CEO of Dogs Trust, says:
“It’s only the start of 2023 but we’ve already seen a record high in the number of inquiries from people who need to give up their dogs. At Dogs Trust, we know the joy dogs can bring to everyday life, especially when times are hard, and we believe the best place for a dog is with the family who loves them.
“If you’re a dog owner who is struggling, we can offer support, training and advice to help keep you and your dog together. We’re here for you and your dog; please give us a call before you reach crisis point.”
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