LIFESTYLE
25/06/2015 09:36 BST | Updated 25/06/2015 09:59 BST

How To Find Love: Study Suggests Dog Walking Helps Brits Meet Partners And Lifelong Friends

Whether you're looking for love or just want to find some more friends, getting a dog could be the key to establishing new relationships.

A study has found that almost half of Brits (46%) think loving animals makes a person more attractive, with women more likely to be attracted to animal lovers (49%) than men (40%).

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults also found that pet owners are perceived to have positive character traits.

Around a third (32%) of Brits surveyed said they thought someone with a dog was more likely to be loyal, compassionate and kind.

dog walking couple summer

Commenting on the survey, TV personality and adventurer Ben Fogle said: "My wife Marina and I met while out walking our dogs in Hyde Park. They took an immediate shine to each other and if it wasn’t for them, we might never have met.

"I grew up around dogs and cannot stress enough the physical, psychological and social benefits of owning a pet.

"Dogs get you out in the fresh air in all weathers and are a great conversation starter. Who knows where Marina and I would be without ours."

It's not just romance that dogs can help out with. Almost half (46%) of people surveyed found that walking a dog is one of the easiest ways to make friends.

It may explain why 29% of dog owners have met lifelong friends whilst walking their pooch.

The survey, conducted by Direct Line, isn't the first to suggest that dogs can help humans make connections with each other.

A previous study from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that people who have strong connections to their pets also have social and relationship benefits.

The researchers surveyed 500 people between the ages of 18 to 26 and found that those who had "strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships".

They also found that the more attached a person was to an animal as a teenager and young adult, the more empathetic and confident the individual was later in life.

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