Charity demands dogs on prescription

GPs and health professionals should prescribe the benefits of dog ownership to patients, according to charity the Dogs Trust.

Its Canine Charter for Human Health says research shows that dog owners make fewer visits to their doctor, owning a dog can reduce stress and blood pressure and dog walking improves health.

A supporting survey of 1,000 UK individuals found that 80% of dog owners and 61% of non-dog owners agreed a dog could reduce stress or blood pressure. Also 96% of dog owners and 88% of non-dog owners thought that owning a dog increases the amount of exercise done.

The charter was launched by GP and presenter of Channel Four's Embarrassing Illnesses Dr Christian Jessen.

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