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Companionship is main motivation for dog ownership, study reveals
Companionship for themselves was discovered as the main motivation for dog ownership, with 79.4 per cent of current owners stating it.

Dogs Trust study explores reasons for UK dog acquisition. 

A new study carried out by Dogs Trust has revealed that the most common motivation for dog ownership in the UK is companionship.

Although dogs are hugely popular in the UK, there is a gap in published evidence exploring owner motivation for dog ownership, and Dogs Trust hoped to address this gap. 

The findings of the study could be used to develop interventions to support owners' decision-making when thinking of getting a dog, and to help ensure that potential owners have realistic expectations of ownership. 

Using both quantitative and qualitative research, researchers found that eight in 10 owners said that companionship for themselves was the reason they got a dog.

From the findings, other popular reasons for dog ownership were cited as to help a dog in need (51.1 per cent of current owners) and to facilitate exercise (48.2 per cent of current owners). 

Dogs Trust researchers Katrina Holland and Rebecca Mead commented on their study: “Despite the huge popularity of dogs in the UK, there is a lack of published evidence exploring exactly why people get dogs. 

“As the UK’s leading canine charity, we wanted to address this gap and, while there are no big surprises from what we found, we’re really glad to have some solid evidence about why people choose to bring a dog into their life.”

From the findings, researchers identified three key themes in motivation for dog ownership, the first of these being self-related ownership – the ways in which owners perceived dogs to benefit and enrich their lives.

Social-based motivation was the second broad theme identified, with motivation for getting a dog influenced by others, either by other people, or by dogs.

The third theme found was dog-related positive affect-based motivation, with the role of previous experiences owning or meeting dogs shown to be important in motivating the decision to own a dog. 

A summary of the report can be accessed online here, and the full report can be read in Frontiers in Veterinary Science journal.


Image (C) Dogs Trust

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit