Dedicated dog owners walk more than others

February 7, 2006

A University of Victoria study suggests dedicated dog owners log more exercise time than their urban neighbors without pet dogs.

"There's this extra dog obligation that helps get people up and out for their exercise," said author Shane Brown, a physical education instructor and researcher at the British Columbia university.

Brown and co-author Ryan Rhodes surveyed 177 men and 174 women between ages 20 and 80 in Greater Victoria and found the 70 dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes a week, compared with 168 minutes a week for the others.

However, other than walking, dog owners exercised less than non-owners.

"A feeling of obligation to the dog explained 11 percent of the variance of getting out there and actually doing the behavior," Brown said.

Despite the study results, Brown says adopting a pet purely as exercise motivation isn't recommended.

"We're definitely not saying, 'Everyone go out and get a dog," she said. "We are saying that for those of us who have dogs or those who are thinking of getting a dog, this is an added benefit."

The research appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Vet says owners should exercise with their dogs based on specific needs to prevent obesity

Related Stories

Young dog owners more physically active

February 8, 2011

They’re furry, fun loving and could be the key to getting your sedentary teen off the couch, finds a new study on dog ownership and adolescent physical activity.

Why dogs are the new darlings of cognitive science

May 23, 2014

This will be his earliest memory. Red light, morning light. High ceiling canted overhead. Lazy click of toenails on wood. Between the honey-colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until its cheeks pull ...

Exercising pets helps avoid fat cat and pudgy pooch

January 6, 2015

This time of year, busy schedules and frequently frigid weather make it harder to stick with healthy habits, such as taking the dog for a walk. Yet finding ways to exercise your dog and cat during the winter can benefit the ...

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.