No matter how much we enjoy cosying up on the sofa with a hot drink and our favourite TV programme, there’s no denying that the winter months can take their toll on us, both mentally and physically.

Daily walks

Daily walks

But there is a way of lifting our spirits and it may be even closer to home than we think. A recent study1 by bed specialist Time 4 Sleep found that nearly half of Brits (43%) feel that their furry friends help improve their mood.

In case you needed another reason to spend some quality time with your pet, Time 4 Sleep worked with Sarah Mackie, writer and area co-ordinator at Pets as Therapy, to find out her top ten ways in which pets can help us through the winter months:

Daily walks

Dogs need daily walks no matter what the weather and so having a dog encourages you to go out and get some fresh air. This will really help to boost your mood as well as improving your general health.

Embracing nature

Dogs are usually walked in parks which means spending a regular chunk of your day in ‘green spaces’, connecting with nature. Even during winter there are birds and a host of wildlife to discover and enjoy.

Meet new people

Dog walkers talk to each other, even if it’s just to pass the time of day. It’s a great way to make friends, maybe include a coffee stop as part of your route and you’ll have a whole new social group before you know it.

Unconditional love

No matter how late you come home, or how bad your day has been, a pet is always happy to see you. They don’t moan or nag, just give unconditional love.

Help around the house

If you’re busy around the house a dog often considers it their mission to help! They follow you around, get under your feet and entertain you. Take a minute to observe their simple pleasures to remind yourself that just having a home to share is a blessing.


“Pets want to be cuddled. There are countless studies that suggest the simple act of stroking your pet slows your heartrate, reducing the effects of stress.”

A form of physio

The damp weather often causes painful joints and can increase the symptoms of arthritis. Stroking your pet provides a form of physio, much more enjoyable than a stress ball.

Keep you warm

Pets love a cuddle and are much nicer to snuggle up to than a hot water bottle. On colder days, wrap yourself up and allow your pet to nuzzle in for extra warmth without turning up the thermostat.


If you’re feeling a little lethargic after the holidays, go for a run with your dog. They don’t judge you or set targets, they just match your stride and wait for you, and they’ll love you even more for an extra trip out!


Even when we’re feeling down, our pets rely on us to take care of them, giving our lives purpose.

If you feel like you need an extra boost to get you through the winter months, your pet might just be the answer. Why not give them a little bit of extra attention when you get home tonight? 

To read more about the pros and cons to allowing your dog to sleep in your bed, click here:

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