A recent survey of 191 dog owning adults, 455 non-dog owning adults and 46 children, living in 385 households concluded that dog owning families are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than non-dog owning families.
Previous research indicated that dog owners are only slightly more active than non-dog owners, however the research was restricted to one household member and it was unclear if time spent dog walking replaced other physical activity.
The recent survey, conducted by exercise scientists at the University of Liverpool and published in 2019 in the journal Scientific Reports, concluded that dog owners spend around 300 minutes each week walking their dogs while non-dog owners spend about 100 minutes walking.
National health guidelines call for adults to commit to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week and the study concluded that in most cases dog owners met or exceeded the guidelines while non-dog owners often fell short.
Evidence also concluded that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, particularly in single-person households where the pet owner may be more highly motivated to walk their dog.
Evidence already exists to support the fact that dogs and other pets are good for mental and physical health. They reduce stress, provide companionship and are often affectionate, accepting, loyal, honest and consistent. Dogs also fulfill the human need to touch and provide an opportunity to establish a routine, including feeding, cleaning and exercising your pet.
Surprisingly, the recent study concluded that dog owners spend slightly more time than non-dog owners engaging in activities like cycling, jogging or working out at the gym. Therefore, walking their dog was not an excuse to exclude other forms of exercise from their weekly schedule.
Dogs also motivate children to engage in physical activity and the study found that children living in households with a dog generally spend about 100 minutes every week playing or walking the family pet.
If you have a small dog and would like to provide your beloved pet with a chance to socialise and exercise with dogs of a similar size and nature, as a special treat or on a regular basis, FurBaby Grooming & Daycare is the perfect choice. FurBaby also offers introductory sessions to introduce puppies to the tools, processes and behaviours at a grooming salon.
Call FurBaby Grooming and Daycare 9440 6690 or visit furbaby.com.au