People who took part in the study reported that spending time with their canine friend was more relaxing than watching television, and walking a dog was one of the best ways to spend quality time with family members.
People felt more relaxed, more optimistic and less preoccupied with everyday concerns after spending time with their dog.
The survey, by Mindlab International on behalf of dog food company Winalot, involved 1,000 dog owners in the UK.
Psychologist Dr David Lewis, of Mindlab International, was reported in The Daily Mail
as saying: “You’ve had a tough and stressful day. The boss has been on your case, the children playing up, the shops packed and the traffic bumper-to-bumper.
“Now all you want to do is relax and unwind. Actually, forget the TV and interact with the dog instead. The research we conducted shows this is a profound and effective stress reducer and increases feelings of contentment and relaxation.”
Of those surveyed, 55 per cent said they felt more relaxed after time with their dog, 44 per cent reported feeling more optimistic and 44 per cent were less concerned about issues such as finances.
One quarter of the people said their dog was their best friend and, for one in six women, the dog was the only one trusted with their deepest secrets.