With many people looking for new relationships online and via smartphone apps, new research from comparethemarket.com has revealed that our next friend or partner could just be a dog-walk away - with nearly one in five full-time workers meeting a new friend and 16 per cent starting a new relationship while out with their pet.
The study also revealed that having a pet could help people who have suddenly found themselves living alone. Almost half (45 per cent) of widows have struck up a positive conversation with a stranger while out with their pet and one in three has been able to make new friends.
Love me, love my pet
It’s an established fact that having a pet makes you happier, with the new research confirming that 55 per cent of pet owners are extremely happy with their life. Having a pet also improves the quality of relationships too - with over half of pet owners saying they are very satisfied with their love life and 41 per cent saying their pet had brought them closer to their partner.
North/south doggy divide
The research has shown a distinct difference between North and South. Northern pet owners seem to be much friendlier with 44 per cent starting a positive conversation while out with a pet, while only a quarter of Londoners do the same. But lack of space in London may be affecting some people’s ability to own a larger and more social pet, and their chances of meeting a new partner – dogs were most popular in the northern parts of the country (67 per cent), with more space to exercise them, while less social animals like cats were the pets of choice in London (51 per cent).
Gemma Sonfield at comparethemarket says: "These results just go to show how pets can help break down those social barriers and anxiety that some people suffer from. Pets are a great way to push us out of our comfort zone, expand our social circles and generally make us feel happier in life."
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