Over 85 per cent of pet owners in the West Midlands believe having a dog can help to bring stress levels down. In fact, research, conducted by leading manufacturer of premium pet supplements Lintbells, has found that on average dog owners in the West Midlands are less stressed and happier in life because of their pet.

With almost a quarter of households* in the UK now owning a dog the study found that dog owners are happier, more satisfied at work and more sociable than people without a pooch. In fact over 80 per cent of people in the West Midlands now consider their dog to be an integral part of their family.

The national study, of 1,000 dog owners and 1,000 adults without a dog, found 80 per cent with a dog are ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ with their life overall, compared to just 70 per cent of people without a four-legged friend.

In addition the research found that people with no dog spend longer watching TV and less time outdoors. In fact, it was discovered people without a pooch watch 14 hours more TV a month, averaging an extra 3.5 hours per week, than those with a four-legged friend.

Over 87 per cent of dog owners in the West Midlands put their general health at average and above average levels than those who don’t have a dog. Unsurprisingly, nationally dog owners spend an hour and 12 minutes longer outdoors each week than those without a dog. Dog owners’ hobbies are also more likely to be active and outdoor pursuits, with dog owners being bigger fans of cycling, going for walks and gardening.

The survey also found that over a third of dog owners in the West Midlands say their dog has their own spot on the sofa.

Those without a dog are more likely to enjoy reading, listening to music and watching TV. And while non-dog owners are most likely to opt for a quiet night at home alone, dog owners prefer a more social evening in with friends or a night at the pub. Dog owners are also the biggest social media users with 80 per cent spending some time on social media each day compared to just 71 of non-dog owners.

John Davies, co-founder of Lintbells said: “The results of this survey highlight the many benefits of owning a dog, from health to happiness.  Dogs are amazing companions, offering their owners much more than just a wag of their tail in the morning. They are often the first to greet anyone arriving home, they inspire us to spend more time outdoors and offer unconditional love to their owners. That said we owe it to them to take care of their needs – even those we can’t see. Natural supplements can aid your dog with their mobility, skin irritations, digestion and anxiety, helping them to be happy for longer.”