Dogs are a great way to meet new friends, people who love animals tend to bond easily and a shared interest in dogs means conversations flow better.
Dogs are an ice-breaker, their friendly antics lighten the mood and provide common ground. Here, we share 10 places where you're sure to meet other dog lovers.
1. The obvious one - the park. You're certain to meet other dog owners when walking your dog and it's easy to fall into conversation as the dogs are engaging in some mutual rear-end sniffing.
2. A café with outside seating - a great place to meet other dog owners who are taking a break for tea or coffee.
3. Dog activity groups, such as agility or flyball clubs - don't worry about your dog's lack of experience, most groups cater for beginners and activities provide a great opportunity to bond with your dog and meet other dog owners. 4Dog obedience or training classes - your pet will get plenty out of this and you are sure to find common ground with your classmates. Speak to other dog owners about which classes they'd recommend in your area or your vet may have details of local classes.
5. A trip to the vet is sure to bring you into contact with other pet owners.
6. The dog groomers - often other dog owners will be waiting with their pets or you may bump into them as you arrive to collect your dog.
7. On a dog-friendly holiday or dog activity holiday - not only are more places welcoming dogs but there are specific holidays geared towards providing great activities for you and your dog to try. Some of these provide a great platform for launching new friendships, with many people returning year after year.
8. Pet-friendly social media sites - online networks can be a great place to discuss dog problems or just share the joy of dog ownership.
9. By volunteering at a local shelter or a dog charity such as Dogs Trust - the charities are often desperate for people to help with fundraising or dog walking and you are sure to find friends among the other volunteers or staff. Alternatively you could help local elderly or disabled people with their pets. The Cinnamon Trust runs a national network of volunteers for this purpose and is a good place to start.
10. By involving your pet in the Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog scheme, where dogs visit sick and elderly people in care homes, hospitals, or hospices bringing cheer and affection to needy people.