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Nearly half of dog owners have made at least one new friend when out on a dog walk

5 min read

New study reveals positive impact owning a dog can have on your social life.
In celebration of our canine companions on National Pet Day, a poll of 1,265 UK dog owners commissioned by Purina has revealed that owning a dog is not only good for your physical health, but can also be great for making new friends and striking up conversations with new people. 

Nearly half (44 per cent) of those surveyed revealed that they have made at least one new friend when out on a dog walk. While 66 per cent of said that owning a dog and going out for regular walks together, encouraged them to be more social with new people.  


It’s well known that walking a dog regularly is great for getting people moving and active as well as creating routines and spending more time in the fresh air.  But one of the lesser-known positive impacts of walking a dog is the increased social interaction many people experience. 
“Whilst dogs are getting the exercise they need, owners are very often building new friendships with other dog owners as well. Amidst growing concerns about social isolation and the detrimental effects of loneliness, spending time walking your

dog appears to offer owners valuable opportunities for meaningful connections

Martina McHowat Purina Brand Experience Lead

And while proper friendships can and do blossom, a huge number of owners reported that walking their dog, even helped them to enter into conversations with new people.  79 per cent of dog owners said that they are more likely to talk to new people when they’re with their dog, than when they’re without them. The higher likelihood of striking up conversations with new people is also supported by a feeling of increased confidence when talking to other dog owners. 59 per cent of those surveyed, agreed that owning a dog has made them more confident in talking to people they don’t know.

These confident human interactions, go hand-in-hand with friendships between dogs too. 67 per cent confirmed that their dog made friends with other dogs whilst on a walk. 

Purina is committed to supporting the pet human bond and raising awareness of the positive impact of our relationships with our pets. Both existing and prospective pet owners can head to for helpful information on all areas of owning a pet, as well as to learn more about the full data study.

For more information  
Sam Foster 
tmwi, acting on behalf of Purina 
01789 404180 

Note to editors:     
Nestlé Purina PetCare believes that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer. This is why, for more than 125 years, it has been committed to creating richer lives for pets and the people who love them through high-quality nutrition and care.

With the ambition of becoming Europe’s most trusted pet care company, Purina aims to have a positive impact on pets, people, and the planet. In 2022, the company launched six new Purina Commitments (2023-2030) to help reach this goal, to support adoption and responsible pet ownership, help the wellbeing of people in vulnerable situations and support the regeneration of soil and ocean ecosystems. 

The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Felix®, Purina ONE®, Gourmet® and Pro Plan®.