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Dog Walking Better Than The Gym?

The average dog owner gets more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership, a pet health care expert has claimed.

Researchers found animal lovers exercise their pet twice a day for 24 minutes each time – a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week.

On top of that, the average dog owner also takes their pet out on three long walks each week adding another two hours and 33 minutes to the total.

But in comparison, those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes per week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog.

And almost half (47 per cent) of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever.

A spokesperson for pet health care experts Bob Martin said the difference between the two was that going to the gym can feel like a chore while dogwalking can be far more enjoyable.

"A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym," he said.

"And whilst gym-goers exercise inside an air-conditioned gym, dog walkers are able to rack up the miles and enjoy fresh air whilst admiring the Great British countryside."

The study of 5,000 people, including 3,000 dog owners, revealed that 57 per cent of those see walking the dog as their main form of exercise. More than three quarters said they would rather take their dog for a walk than go to the gym.

A total of 86 per cent said they enjoyed taking their pet out each day, with just 22 per cent saying they sometimes see it as a chore.

But only 16 per cent of respondents said they enjoyed exercising in the gym, while almost 70 per cent considered it a chore.

The survey showed that having a dog to walk actually encourages regular exercise with 60 per cent of pet owners saying they always go for a walk with their dog – even when time is precious.

But 46 per cent of gym goers admit they often find other things to do to get out of doing exercise.

"With increasing focus on leading an active healthy lifestyle it seems that owning a dog makes us more healthy," the Bob Martin spokesperson said.

"The Government recommends 30 minutes of moderate cardio vascular exercise 3-5 times per week and it's encouraging to see that dog walkers are exceeding this target and enjoying it at the same time."

Reference Sources 172
November 30, 2009


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