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pets and your social life

Not only do pets provide direct companionship, they also act as social enablers. A study by the University of Western Australia’s School of Population Health found that over 50% of dog owners and 40% of pet owners in general met people in their neighbourhood as a result of their pet. Furthermore, 80% of dog owners talked to others when out walking their dogs.

However, your days of going straight from work to the pub and then out all night might be somewhat inhibited by dog ownership. Dogs like routine, so if you’re planning a late night you should at least call in at home and feed and pay attention to your dog, or arrange for someone else to do it for you. You might be surprised to find that neighbours who can’t have a dog themselves might enjoy being able to assist with providing care and companionship for your dog, and neighbours with dogs might be happy to reciprocate pet-minding and feeding arrangements.

Don’t forget, if you’re heading out to a friend’s house and your dog is well behaved, you might find you and your dog are both welcome. Often friends and family who don’t own dogs will be glad of the opportunity for some canine company. Also, many dog owners socialise routinely with other dog owners and bring their pets along to each other’s houses; the dogs get to know each other and have as good a time socialising as the owners.

Dogs in particular have the benefit of ensuring you exercise regularly and, especially for women, they provide feelings of safety when out walking.