Dedicated dog owners log more exercise time than their urban neighbors without pet dogs, according to a study in the February issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Shane Brown, a physical education instructor and researcher at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and co-author Ryan Rhodes surveyed 177 men and 174 women between age 20 and 80 in Greater Victoria and found that the 70 dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes a week compared to 168 minutes a week for the others.
Women and men spent an equal amount of time walking their dogs. Time spent on strenuous physical activity, either walking or other forms of exercise, was similar for owner and non-owners.
Despite these results, adopting a pet purely as exercise motivation is not recommended, but those of us who have dogs or those who are thinking of getting a dog, this is an added benefit, says the researcher.