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Wake up walkies: New research reveals 7.46am as the most popular time of day for Brits to walk their dog

Lady cuddling a dog, which lies on its back, on green grass. The lady is holding a red ball in her hand.
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Purina partners with Dr Alex George to encourage the nation to support charity campaign whilst on their morning walk. 

  • Dr Alex George launches campaign for Purina’s new Changing Lives Together Fund to support the life changing work of assistance dog charity Canine Partners
  • Share a selfie with your dog on your daily walk and Purina will donate to Canine Partners on your behalf

Leading pet care brand, Purina, has announced it is joining forces with doctor and youth mental health ambassador, Dr Alex George, to launch a new campaign in support of charity partner, Canine Partners. Canine Partners trains and then matches assistance dogs with people with disabilities, providing both incredible physical help, but also mental and emotional support to their human partners.

As part of the campaign, Dr Alex George is asking dog owners across the UK to share a selfie with their dog on their dog walk and use it as a moment to think about the amazing bond they have with their pet and how, for people with a disability, a canine partner assistance dog can provide life changing benefits. 

With new research commissioned by Purina showing that 7.46am is the most popular time for a dog walk , Dr Alex is calling the nation to join him whilst out on their morning walk to help Purina raise an extra £10,000 for the charity Canine Partners. Purina has already contributed £70,000 to the Changing Lives Together Fund, which will support Canine Partners to allow more disabled adults to experience the benefits of an assistance dog. For every #ChangingLivesTogether hashtag posted alongside each selfie, Purina will donate £1 to Canine Partners on their behalf until 26th June, so more people can benefit from an assistance dog.

The research1 also reveals the daily dog walk has more than just physical benefits:

  • 40% of dog owners describe the morning dog walk as a ‘moment of calm’ before the day starts’ 
  • 32% state that the daily dog walk is how they look after their own mental wellbeing
  • 44% of those surveyed agree that spending time outside each day boosts their mental wellbeing
  • 40% claim to feel less stressed after taking their dog for a walk 

Youth mental health ambassador and doctor, Dr Alex George, said: “My morning walk with Rolo is one of my favourite parts of the day. He gets me outside in the fresh air and really helps my mental wellbeing. The bond we have developed is so strong and there is nothing quite like the unconditional love between a human and their pet. I’m proud to be partnering with Purina to raise awareness of the incredible charity Canine Partners and I can only imagine the positive effect an assistance dog has on their owners. Please get involved and support this amazing cause.”

Fiona Bower, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) was partnered with golden retriever Wizal in May 2016 and knows first-hand the mental-health benefits of a canine partner assistance dog. 

Fiona said: “When I was diagnosed with MS my confidence plummeted and I become isolated, lonely and frustrated. My daughter made me aware of Canine Partners and, despite little self-belief, I applied. Once I was partnered with Wizal – soon to be known as Mr Wiz - my world opened up again. Our bond was strong from the beginning, and we’ve grown increasingly in tune with one another, with Mr Wiz anticipating what I need without me having to ask. I appreciate his enthusiasm with tasks but it is almost secondary to the confidence Mr Wiz has given me to get out and embrace my life. I can’t imagine life without him and will be forever grateful for the support he gives.”

Calum Macrae, Managing Director for Purina UK & Ireland, says: “At Purina, we know how powerful the pet human bond can be – and for adults with disabilities, the bond they have with their assistance dog can be truly life changing. We’re proud to be launching the Changing Lives Together Fund to continue to support Canine Partners, so more people can enjoy greater independence and quality of life through the partnering of a specially trained dog. We are committed to fostering people’s health through the power of the pet human bond, and it’s why we have an ongoing commitment to support Canine Partners and the amazing work they do”.

You can help raise funds for Canine Partners by posting a picture from your daily dog walk from Monday 19th to Monday 26th June, including #ChangingLivesTogether in your post. For every hashtag shared, Purina will donate £1 on your behalf. There are currently 96 people on the waiting list to be partnered with an assistance dog. 

To find out more information on Purina’s Changing Lives Together Fund, please visit: purina.co.uk/changinglives 


1 Research conducted on 1,001 Dog Owners in the UK, aged 16+. Censuswide, May 2023.