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According to a Purina poll, nearly half of dog owners have made at least one new friend when out on a dog walk

In celebration of our canine companions on National Pet Day, a poll of 1,265 UK dog owners commissioned by Purina has revealed that owning a dog is not only good for your physical health, but can also be great for making new friends and striking up conversations with new people.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of those surveyed revealed that they have made at least one new friend when out on a dog walk. While 66 per cent of said that owning a dog and going out for regular walks together, encouraged them to be more social with new people.

Martina Mchowat, web lead for, where owners can find huge amounts of advice, tips and expertise on all elements of finding and caring for their furry companions, said: "It's well known that walking a dog regularly is great for getting people moving and active as well as creating routines and spending more time in the fresh air. But one of the lesser-known positive impacts of walking a dog is the increased social interaction many people experience.

"Whilst dogs are getting the exercise they need, owners are very often building new friendships with other dog owners as well. Amidst growing concerns about social isolation and the detrimental effects of loneliness, spending time walking your dog appears to offer owners valuable opportunities for meaningful connections."

And while proper friendships can and do blossom, a huge number of owners reported that walking their dog, even helped them to enter into conversations with new people. 79 per cent of dog owners said that they are more likely to talk to new people when they're with their dog, than when they're without them. The higher likelihood of striking up conversations with new people is also supported by a feeling of increased confidence when talking to other dog owners. 59 per cent of those surveyed, agreed that owning a dog has made them more confident in talking to people they don't know.
These confident human interactions, go hand-in-hand with friendships between dogs too. 67 per cent confirmed that their dog made friends with other dogs whilst on a walk.

Purina is committed to supporting the pet human bond and raising awareness of the positive impact of our relationships with our pets. Both existing and prospective pet owners can head to for helpful information on all areas of owning a pet, as well as to learn more about the full data study.


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