Dog owners walk 870 miles a year with their pet

Dog owners walk 870 miles a year with their pet

Having a dog is good for your health: it's official!

New research shows that dog owners walk more than 21 miles a week -- including almost 17 miles while taking their four-legged friend out for a stroll. People without a dog cover less than 14 miles each week on foot.

As well as helping them to keep fit, almost half of dog owners believe that taking care of their pet has improved their overall mental health and reduced their stress levels.

On average, dogs are taken on a walk nine times a week, for 34 minutes each time. That means owners spend a total of around five hours a week -- or 11 days a year -- exercising their dog. With each walk covering almost two miles, it adds up to 870 miles a year pounding the footpaths with your canine chum.

Around one in four (23%) dog owners believe their pet has made them more sociable and 16% feel more connected to the community, with the average owner striking up two conversations with fellow dog lovers during each walk.

But owners also admitted that every year they have more than 100 family rows over whose turn it is to take the dog out. And while 92% of dog owners said they enjoy going out for walks, three in 10 blame poor weather for not getting out more often. A quarter don't have time to walk their dog any more than they already do, and one in five said they are too busy with work issues.

Gemma Cunningham, spokesman for Lintbells, a manufacturer of natural joint supplements for pets which commissioned the research, said it's important to take time out of your busy schedule to exercise -- both for your own and your dog's overall health and well-being.

"Just like humans, dogs are social beings and don't welcome loneliness so getting out and exercising can be a perfect way to leading happier and healthier lives," Gemma said.

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