The Dog Difference – report

At we are incredibly excited to share The Dog Difference, our largest ever study into the impact our pets have. And it couldn’t come at a more pressing time. When we’re all searching for positive ways to make a difference to our personal wellbeing and quality of life, nearly a quarter of UK households are already sitting on the answer. Dogs. 

While we’re not advocating rushing out and getting a dog at this time, or saying that they’re the sole answer to positive mental health and emotional wellbeing, the results are incredibly positive. In this study, 5066 of our customers bear testimony to the difference, and the mutual wellbeing, that responsible dog ownership brings.

Now, more than ever, dogs are playing an incredibly important role in our lives. Caring for a dog helps us not just survive modern life, but thrive in it.

The dog difference report

The stand out results of the report for me are:

  • Dogs teach us to have conversations. From the more reticent talkers amongst us, to those who experience difficulties communicating. 
  • They take us outside of our own problems; in caring for a dog we can’t just think about ourselves and have to think about others. 
  • For our most vulnerable groups in society, caring for a pet is even more important. People who are in most need are often the ones who need dogs most.

Today, we’re seeing the dog difference in even more obvious ways. During the coronavirus outbreak 79% of people say that their pooch is helping to boost their mood during the days in lockdown.

We’re thrilled to work with proud dog mum and psychotherapist Emma Kenny, as well as charities StreetVet and Dogs for Good to inform our findings on the human impacts.

These are our incredible, inspiring – and often very personal – stories of well cared for dogs transforming lives across the UK, including my own. When I went through my own difficulties as a teenager, it was my lovely dog Sheba who I confided in most often. I’m proud to share my story with you, alongside some other powerful testimonies to the difference a dog can make. 

Living under lockdown, many of our usual coping mechanisms just aren’t there anymore. So spread the joy – don’t underestimate the power of sharing a funny dog clip, or the impact a friendly wag of the tail has on someone in the park. 

The joy of dogs goes well beyond their owners. Like a halo effect, they’re transforming lives all around us, every day. 

Sean McCormack, Head Vet,

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