We all know that walking your dog is an extremely important part of maintaining a happy and healthy dog. It is already obvious that walking your dog will provide a range of benefits for you and your dog, there is no need to debate that statement as it is a fact.
However, what exactly are the facts behind dog walking that makes it one of the most popular activities? Yes, it is obvious that it will improve your health and increase your bond with your dog- but what exactly are the statistics and numbers behind these claims? Is walking your dog really that beneficial for a human, or is it just an overrated activity? Also, how exactly does dog walking benefit you- I mean, besides the obvious factors such as exercising and sweating it out with your dog of course.
In this article, we are going to discuss everything about dog walking, from the patterns, statistics, numbers, and so on. Dog walking has so much more behind it over just a bonding and exercise activity.
Let’s go through these statistics.
GENERAL BEHAVIORAL STATISTICS
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Firstly, let us look at some insightful statistics provided by a recent report. This particular report is based on the various walking habits of dog owners.
Based on the research conducted, it was concluded that:
* 64% of dog owners believe that dog walking is a personal reflection of their love and affection for their dogs.
* 95.5% of dog owners asked did indeed confirm that they see their dog as part of the family.
* 56% of dog owners would even greet their dog the moment they come back.
When it came to the motivations regarding dog walking, most dog owners claimed that dog walks made their dog feel:
* happier (70%),
* more energetic (46%)
* much more relaxed (41%)
* de-stressed (93%).
It can be noted that a huge majority of parents actually walk their dog in order to socialize with others as well. One very interesting motivation that a dog parent might have is the opportunity for more photos or selfies to take with their beloved dogs. In this study, 1 out of 5 pet parents had claimed that they also get motivated to walk due to these photo ops that they can post on social media and/or keep in with them for memory’s sake.
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There were also some amazing statistics made by another report in 2011. Do you want to know the average walking time of dog owners per week? On average, dog owners walk about 8 hours and 54 minutes per week!
Let me break this wonderful statistic down for you. This will mean that an average dog owner will be walking about an average of 36 miles per week if they walked at normal speed.
What happens if they kept this up for a year? We have roughly 52 weeks in a year, so 36 miles times 52 weeks will equal to an absolutely breathtaking 1872 miles per year! That is the equivalent of walking from the north to south of the entire United Kingdom 3.12 times!
Isn’t it no wonder that dog walkers are always perceived as a very active and healthy kind of person?
According to many dog parents, they like it when other people compliment their dog. Most of them have compared it to be better than:
* chocolate (73.5%)
* a day spent in bed (65.5%)
* pizza (60%)
* a great first date (56%)
78% of the pet parents surveyed in this study believe that their dog should be walked twice a day, whereas 22% of them actually walk their dog once or less a day.
However, despite these encouraging statistics, there are still some rather depressing ones to come along as well.
57% of dog parents still admit to skipping walks each week.
When asked for the reason why they would skip on their dog sometimes, the most common reasons given by the dog owners included:
* unsatisfactory weather (56%)
* laziness (32%)
* work (32%),
* difficulties with dealing with the dog (31%)
* family responsibilities (24%).
Notably, Monday is the most skipped day when it comes to dog walks.
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The reasons for their absence may vary, but most if not all dog parents do feel some form of remorse when they do not take the dog out for their daily walks. ⅔ of each parent surveyed had claimed that they will feel guilty if they skip out on their dog.
1 out of 5 of the dog parents admits to treating their dogs with some special treats in order to make up for lost time as a substitute in order to keep them happy. These treats could include but are not limited to:
* normal dog treats
* extra pampering sessions
* extra expensive toys
* and even a specialized pet sitter to watch over them!
Sadly, it is also very common for parents to neglect their dog completely. According to another survey, over a million dog owners that responded to that survey admitted to leaving their dogs locked up in a cage or room as they go to work, leaving them with no healthy outdoor exposure and without companionship for hours on end. This is obviously very unhealthy for dogs as they are creatures who require exercise and constant interaction.
It is said that the minimum amount of exercise needed for a dog will vary depending on breed, size, existing health conditions and other factors. However, it is highly recommended by many experts for most young dogs to have at least 1 hour of exercise per day. Dogs who do not meet these criteria have a higher chance of being overweight sooner or later.
Besides all the important statistics mentioned already, it is also notable to mention that most dog owners, at least amongst this sample, take their dogs to walk in 3 common areas- neighbourhood, local parks or in the woods.[youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w48Wms2XtM"]
HEALTH FACTS ABOUT DOG WALKING
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Now, let us look at some health facts. Walking your dog is obviously beneficial to everybody's health- but what are the facts and statistics that prove this claim?
Firstly, did you know that dog owners who walk their dogs on a daily basis is so much more likely to hit their fitness goals compared to non-dog owners? This is not an old wives tale as they are actually statistics to back it up.
According to researchers at the Michigan State University, their studies had found that:
* Dog owners are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking in a week compared to non-dog owners.
* Dog owners walked 22 more minutes per day compared to non-owners on average.
* A dog owner has more motivation to walk due to them needing to keep their pet satisfied. Non-dog owners do not have such a motivation and instead will rely on more self-motivation in order to get themselves moving.
Another statistic when it comes to walking dogs is the reduction of the risk of getting diabetes. According to exercise scientist Cindy Lentino, dog walkers have 66% less chance of getting diabetes compared to non-dog walkers! This statistic just highlights the importance of physical activity in order to minimize the risk of catching type 2 Diabetes. Besides, what better way to motivate yourself for a walk than the obligation to walk your dog on a daily basis?
Besides the physical suffering that you and your pets go through, diabetes is also a very costly condition. Honestly, you would be better off walking your dog yourself or hiring a nearby dog walker for just $10 a week instead of running the risk of such a painful and costly condition. Click the following text to find out more about the extraordinary veterinary costs of treating dog diabetes!
According to statistics provided by Cancer Research UK, it is proven that regularly doing simple exercise such as brisk walking could help prevent roughly 3,400 cases of cancer in the whole of UK each year. The chances of getting cancer are actually lower if you walk every day- and who better to motivate you for those walks than a dog?
(Image source: Ferplast Blog)
Walking your dog will also provide you with a bunch of mental health benefits. These proven benefits mainly include:
* Lowering down a stress hormone called oxytocin within us, thus reducing our stress levels.
* Boosting the moods of both the dog and its owner as the dopamine and serotonin levels within their bodies will be raised.
A fun fact to know is that dog walks are actually very beneficial for kids! They actually are known to prevent autoimmune diseases and allergies in children. Some researchers from the Cincinnati College have indeed reached this conclusion, stating that children from bloodlines with a history of allergies are less likely to develop eczema and asthma if they grow up with a pet dog starting at birth.
How this works relates to something called the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’, which says that the more dirt kids are exposed to, the less likely they are to suffer from autoimmune diseases and allergies in childhood. Considering that dogs are more often than not quite dirty (unless you wash it every day), dogs are the perfect companion to prevent allergies and autoimmune diseases in children.
Another fun fact about dog walking is that regular walks can actually stop dog behavioural problems such as aggression. Thing is, it is a very well known fact that dogs need physical activity to assert their energy in, or they will resort to other factors in order to clear up their energy- such as destructive/ disobedient behaviour.
So, there you go. These are all the interesting facts and statistics behind dog walking. Do any of these statistics surprise you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!