DOG cuddling is being offered by Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens as an antidote to loneliness.

For those who are retired or work from home, or spend large chunks of time alone, caring for a waggy-tailed companion on a temporary basis and meeting other like-minded dog lovers could really help to overcome feelings of isolation, says the dogs home.

It added that loneliness is not just an issue associated with older people.

Sam and Lee Evans, of Barking Mad Wigan & St Helens 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.”

The community of Barking Mad host families mainly consists of active retired people and those who either work from home, or have extended periods away from work.

It offers the opportunity to care for dogs in your own 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.

To find out more about becoming a Barking Mad host, call Sam and Lee Evans on 01942 316942 or visit