Mental Health and Loneliness: The Importance of Canine Companionship
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on the link between loneliness and mental health issues. The number of over-50s experiencing loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. This compares to around 1.4 million in 2016/7 – a 49% increase in 10 years (Campaign to End Loneliness).
However, research conducted by the Kennel Club concluded that nine in ten dog owners agree four-legged friends have a positive impact on mental health. This research suggests that canine companions help to combat loneliness and anxiety, and help their owners stay on track with regular physical activity, positively impacting mental well-being.
Barking Mad ‘Volunteer Dog Cuddlers’ Wanted
Unfortunately, it is not always possible due to emotional or financial commitment to become a dog owner. However, Barking Mad Dog Care has a solution. Barking Mad are actively looking for ‘Volunteer Dog Cuddlers’ to care for loving dogs on a short-term basis while their owners are away.
Managing Director of Barking Mad, Rachel Stewart said: “The covid-19 pandemic has likely led to an increase in mental health illness and a link to loneliness. However, we believe we have a solution to help combat some of the effects of loneliness and isolation. Becoming a Barking Mad dog sitting host gives dog-loving individuals the opportunity to reap the mental health benefits of spending time with a canine companion, without the financial or emotional commitment of being a dog owner.”
A study by Katcher and Beck revealed that interacting with dogs can reduce physiological indicators of stress, depression, and loneliness.
Barking Mad Host, Iris said: “I really do love my host role. It is absolutely priceless company and considering the joy it brings you I would recommend it to anybody, especially if they live on their own, like I do. I lost my husband and then my beautiful Staffordshire bull terrier who died. I was absolutely devastated and it brought me right up as I was down in a very dark place.”
Benefits of becoming a Barking Mad Host:
– Keeps you active – increasing your physical activity and time outdoors.
– Companionship – dogs give you someone to spend the day with and caring for them can help you feel wanted and needed.
– Help you meet new people – those with dogs often stop and chat to each other on walks.
Other Benefits of Dog Sitting:
-Dogs are carefully matched to suit your home and lifestyle.
-Everything is arranged for you; Barking Mad even transport the dog to your home.
-All dogs come with all their own food, toys and other belongings.
-Opportunity to meet up with other hosts at social get-togethers.
-Hosts can choose when they are available around their own holidays and commitments.
-Barking Mad cover all expenses and take care of everything such as insurance, meetings and paperwork, along with full local support 24/7.
-Enjoy the fun and companionship of a dog from time to time without the cost and commitment of ownership.
Want to find out more? Contact your local branch today.