UK charity, Dogs for Good, is encouraging people to take part in ‘Dogtober’ this October. The campaign is a walking challenge running for the month of October hoping to raise awareness of the positive impact that dogs can have on improving feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
The charity, which enables people to make life-changing differences through specially trained dogs, recently conducted a survey with More Than Insurance which showed that:
- 64% of people have felt lonely or isolated in the past 12 months
- 96% of people say dogs alleviate loneliness
- 79% of people say they have up to 20 friendly interactions each week while walking their dog
- 43% of people go out with a dog to combat loneliness
- 55% of people have made a friend when out walking
Peter Gorbing, Chief Executive of Dogs for Good says: “There’s no doubt about it, getting out on a dog walk, whether with your own or tagging along with a friend and theirs, makes you feel better in yourself. Being out in nature and exercise are positive contributors but importantly, the research findings proved that there is a higher likelihood of social interactions with people that we might never have otherwise, thus combatting feelings of loneliness and social isolation. We know that isolation and loneliness can be even greater for disabled people and for many of the people we support, partnership or time spent with a dog can be transformational.”
The charity is asking people to sign up to Dogtober and Get Walking, Start Talking by walking 100km -or their own target – during October to raise vital funds for its work.
Every pound raised will help Dogs for Good enable more people and their wider families to make life-changing differences through the power of dogs.
Yvonne and Dogs for Good assistance dog, Purdy: “It’s such a joy to take Purdy out to the park and see her racing around and enjoying herself. She is the icebreaker to so many conversations and I’ve made so many friends because of her.”
Allison and Dogs for Good assistance dog, Luna: “I used to spend days indoors in my pyjamas. Now I plan days outdoors with Luna! We go out every day and because of that, I’ve made so many new friends. She’s brought my confidence out of its hiding place.”
Jacqui and Dogs for Good assistance dog, Duke: “My MS diagnosis meant I felt lonely and isolated because I couldn’t safely get outdoors on my own. Duke and I go out every day into the meadows or to the beach which he loves. And everywhere we go, people stop to chat.”
To sign up to Dogtober and get a free fundraising pack, go to dogsforgood.org/dogtober