Dogs and counselling. Are dogs replacing counsellors?

Therapy for dog owner and counsellor

Here's an interesting coincidence about dogs and counselling which I'm having a little fun with and would love to hear your thoughts on!

I have been using Google Trends this week.  Google Trends allows you to look at usage of particular search terms across the internet, and see how they are changing. I decided to look at the search terms over the last 5 years from the UK, related to dogs and counselling (because it's my specialist subject).

The first search term I looked at was 'dogs for sale'. How does the number of people in the UK, using google search to buy a dog, change over this time?  Then, additionally, how many searches have there been for dog training, or dog behaviourists.  Finally I looked at how many people were looking for counselling and how had that changed over the same time.

The graph, shown below, makes interesting reading.  The searches for dogs for sale, dog training and counsellors shows an annual cycle, with some differences.

During the Christmas week over the last 5 years, there has been an annual peak for 'dogs for sale'.   In other words, this is the busiest time on the internet for people looking for dogs to buy.  The number of searches for dog trainers is much lower, but it also shows an increase in the Christmas week.  This seems to make sense, as more people look to buy a dog, more people will also want to know about dog training.  However, during the Christmas week, people using google to search for counselling slumps to an annual low.  This is repeated over the last five years.

So I conclude that at Christmas time people are more likely to buy a dog. And at Christmas time people are less likely to look for counselling.  Are the two things related?  Can I conclude that because people are buying a dog they no longer need a counsellor?!  The dog has replaced the counsellor? Just wondering, because as a counsellor for dog owners, I might need to re-think my therapy service.

I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

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