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West Norfolk business offers dog cuddles to combat loneliness




Volunteering to cuddle furry four-legged friends may sound like a dream to many, and a dog sitting service is offering just that in a bid to combat loneliness.

Barking Mad North West Norfolk hope retired residents or those who work from home, who spend large periods of time on their own, may benefit from caring for a canine companion on a temporary basis.

They say it would also provide the opportunity to meet other like-minded dog lovers to help overcome feelings of isolation.

Barking Mad North West Norfolk is offering volunteer dog cuddling as an antidote to the problem of loneliness in modern society. Photo: SUBMITTED. (6730595)
Barking Mad North West Norfolk is offering volunteer dog cuddling as an antidote to the problem of loneliness in modern society. Photo: SUBMITTED. (6730595)

Tania Stowe, of Barking Mad, said: “Whilst remote working has obvious advantages, working alone under pressure and not having the physical presence of a team to support you can lead to loneliness that can’t be fixed by any kind of app.

“Caring for a friendly dog not only provides canine cuddles – far better than any virtual hug – but also the motivation to go and take a walk at lunchtime, increasing the likelihood of adhering to New Year fitness resolutions.”

Tania said Barking Mad host families are mainly active retired people and those who either work from home, or who have extended periods away from work.

It offers the opportunity to care for dogs in your home, while their owners are away on holiday.

“Hosts experience all the benefits of dog companionship without any of the emotional or financial responsibilities of full-time pet ownership and they receive 24/7 support from the Barking Mad team,” Tania added.

According to a survey from the Office for National Statistics published last year, five per cent of adults in England reported feeling lonely “often” or “always”in 2016 to 2017 with younger adults aged 16 to 24 feeling lonely more often than those in older age groups.

To find out more about becoming a host, call Tania on 01485 205715 or visit www.barkingmad.uk.com/local/norfolk/west-norfolk.



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