Dogs Help Boost Mental Wellbeing

17th May 2022

cuddling your dog

Research from The Kennel Club shows that dogs help boost mental wellbeing. The research released during Mental Health Awareness Month shows the positive impact of canine companionship for owners.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Loneliness

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is exploring the impact of loneliness, with connections to other people being severely reduced over the past two years. However, research from The Kennel Cub shows that dogs provided a vital source of comfort and companionship during this time, with an overwhelming 95% of owners agreeing that their dog improves their mental health, while almost a third (32%) say their dog was there for them when nobody else was.

Furthermore, while experts are concerned that younger generations are most at risk of suffering from loneliness, this research shows that these age groups appear to benefit the most from dog ownership, with more than half (54%) of those aged 16-24 saying that their dog helps them to feel less lonely. In fact, two in five (40%) of all owners credit their dog with easing feelings of loneliness, indicating that dogs really are man’s best friend, regardless of age.

Mental Wellbeing - Staring out of window

Emotional Support

It’s not just loneliness that dogs prove to be a tonic for, with more than a third (37%) feeling less anxious thanks to their dog, and almost half (47%) saying their dog makes them feel less stressed.

Pete Lewin knows first-hand how beneficial dogs can be for providing comfort for those feeling isolated and lonely. Pete, a long-standing front-line paramedic for the Ambulance Service, runs a non-profit organisation providing open water swimming opportunities with his Newfoundland dogs for suicide prevention and those struggling with their mental health. Earlier this year, Pete and his four-legged team were presented with The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award at Crufts 2022 for their live-saving work helping those suffering with feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety.

Speaking of the powerful ways in which his dogs have helped others, Pete said: “Dogs are great for emotional support, they give people confidence that somebody is there for them – they’re not there to judge, to criticise or condemn. And they really can be life-savers. There are people out there who will tell you that they are here today because of these dogs. Whatever it is that dogs have got, it is helping people.”

Keeping Fit and Active

Keeping fit and active is also beneficial for mental wellbeing, and more than half of owners (58%) agree walking their dog improves their mood, while two in five (42%) believe staying active with their dog has had a positive impact on their mental health. In fact, over two thirds (69%) of those aged 55+ agree that walking their dog improves their mood and general wellbeing.

“This research shows how much dogs enrich our lives, from providing solace and companionship during difficult and lonely times, to giving us a sense of purpose and routine,” said Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club. “This has been particularly apparent over the last two years, when many of us have experienced feelings of loneliness and stress whilst being much more isolated from friends and family than usual, but our dogs have continued to be there through it all.”

Find out more about The Kennel Club.

Mental Wellbeing - French bulldog being cuddled


The Pantiles is a regular haunt for dogs and their owners. As well as a range of dog-friendly cafes, we also cater for pampered pooches by way of Collared.

Collared is a dog accessory and gift shop in the heart of The Pantiles that sources top quality products from around the world for dogs and dog lovers. These include Puppia, West Paw, Wacky Walker, Rough Wear, Walters, Hunter and Flexi.

Collared loves to meet their customers, especially the furry ones! So be sure to pop in-store next time you’re at The Pantiles and browse their selection of dog collars, bowls, leads and accessories.