FOUR out of five Scots say that walking their dog every day has improved their mental health during lockdown.
Our survey found that 90 per cent of dog owners walk their pooch every day, with more than 82 per cent of respondents confirming it has helped with their physical health as well as boosting their mental wellbeing.
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A further 70 per cent said they the whole family get involved in sharing the daily doggy duties.
The latest lockdown curbs only allow Scots to leave the house for essential purposes, which has left many feeling isolated and lonely.
But a study by the Mental Health Foundation UK which showed that 59 per cent of British adults agreed that “getting outside for a walk” had helped them cope with stress of the pandemic.
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One owner who responded to our survey said having a dog had given them a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
They said: “It’s given me a reason to get up and out of the house, instead of sitting inside all day.
“It’s also good exercise for both of you so by taking care of them, you’re also taking care of yourself.”
Another owner, Ruth said: “Rehoming Emil was the best decision my family and I ever made”
“He helps me not stress out and get all worked up.”
Mike Flynn, chief superintendent of the Scottish SPCA, confirmed the positive power of dogs.
He said: “The companionship they provide can help reduce feelings of loneliness which I’m sure many of us have experienced over the last year.
“Having the unconditional love of a loyal pet is good for the mind and body, you really can’t put a price on it”.
Mr Flynn also highlighted the social aspect of dog walking.
He added: “Dogs can open you up to new groups of people, depending on your breed of dog there can be groups to share pictures with have conversations with new people.”
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