New research shows dogs really are man’s – and woman’s – best friend

New research shows dogs really are man’s – and woman’s – best friend

We are all familiar with the phrase ‘Man’s best friend’ when it comes to our relationship with dogs and now new research has shown that dogs truly are.

Dogs Trust, which has a rehoming centre in Snetterton, has revealed that around 80% of ownersi said companionship was one of the reasons they got a dog.

The research, which involved collecting data from almost 11,000 respondents, aimed to explore owners’ motivations for acquiring dogs.

Other popular reasons to get a dog were to help a dog in need, which had been a motivation for half of current ownersii, and many current and potential owners wanted a dog to encourage them to exercise, with nearly three quartersiii of potential owners giving this as a reason.

Kelly Smith, Manager at Dogs Trust Snetterton, said:

“More people than ever before own dogs in the UK with many people having chosen to welcome a dog into their life in the last two years. We wanted to explore why people chose to get a dog and we were delighted that so many had wanted to help a dog in need.

“We weren’t surprised when companionship came out on top with people commonly mentioning the ‘loving’ and ‘loyal’ nature of dogs and, perhaps controversially, some people distinguished dogs’ roles and qualities from those of other pets, including cats.”

People who had previously owned a dog referred to this experience as a motivating factor for getting a dog again, with prior ownership a reported influence for around three quartersiv of potential owners. For others, prior experiences of meeting dogs contributed to their decision, with around a quarterv of current owners saying this had influenced them.

Kelly says:

“As a dog lover myself I am lucky enough to know what a great and rewarding relationship we can have with our dogs, and every day people who have adopted from us let us know how wonderful their relationship with their new four-legged friend is, which is always lovely to hear.

“There’s no doubt dog ownership is a very big commitment, which demands dedication, time, money and care but dogs can truly be a wonderful addition to our lives.”

If you are considering welcoming a dog into your life, Dogs Trust has lots of guidance about what to consider here.

To find out about the dogs waiting for their forever homes at Dogs Trust Snetterton please go to


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