I’m a big believer that being a dog owner can be good for your health. And there’s an increasing amount of evidence to prove it too.

Feel better. Interacting with your dog, meeting their gaze and engaging in gentle play can help lower blood pressure and anxiety. It’s been shown that taking well trained dogs to care homes for the elderly or special schools for children with disabilities has a calming and positive effect.

Meet your neighbours. Dogs make great talking points. You are rarely lonely with a dog. When you are out and about with a well behaved dog you have a natural conversation starter.

Walk the walk. Getting out and about puts exercise at the heart of your day – which in turn is good for your heart. The British Heart Foundation tell us that daily exercise strengthens our hearts, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, and aids restful sleep and a good memory.

Feel young (again). Dogs like play, they like fun and they don’t mind if you look daft (which is great as I often do!). Dogs make it ok to be silly, and this can help us de-stress and unwind. We’re all so busy and life is often difficult; sometimes it feels wonderful to make those crazy faces, lie on the floor and giggle, and live in the moment. Your dog will love you for it too.

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