Britain’s Got Talent star, Ashleigh Butler, delighted dog lovers with a surprise performance at Crufts on Saturday 10th March. The agility champion took to the stage with Sully to host a live reading of the new children’s book, A Pawfect Pair, which celebrates the relationship of a young girl and her Cockapoo, hoping to inspire visitors with the positive impact dog ownership can have on our lives.

This follows a new survey from EUKANUBA, experts in premium pet nutrition, which found that an alarming 50 per cent of 16-19-year olds claim to suffer from anxiety, depression and low confidence. Exam stress topped the list of concerns, alongside weight/image related issues (31 per cent), pressure to conform to social media (19 per cent), and bullying (18 per cent).

Image by OrnaW on Pixabay

However, it seems there’s a solution in man’s best friend, as young Britons reveal they seek solace in their four-legged companions. In fact, almost half (46 per cent) of young dog owners cite companionship and friendship as their top reasons for getting a dog. What’s more, one in four (23 per cent) Gen Z-ers claim their overall wellbeing and happiness is better since getting a dog, with their fitness, mental wellbeing and physical health seeing the most improvement. Two thirds (69 per cent) also feel their relationships with friends and family have benefited as a result of bringing a dog into their life, while 39 per cent feel their confidence has improved.

Britain’s Got Talent star Ashleigh Butler said, “It’s great to see that so many young people are interested in dog ownership today. I’m delighted to be part of EUKANUBA’s new campaign, celebrating the special bond owners have with their dogs. I hope that in so doing, I can help to inspire the younger generation about the benefits of dog ownership and raise awareness of how they can live life well with their canine companions – just like me and Sully.”

This is a guest essay by Kellie Ceccarelli. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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