Drop the gym, get a dog

Dog owners seem to be more active then non dog owners

by KATHRYN OLIVA

Staff Writer

  A recent study has shown that dog owners are usually more physically active then people who do not own dogs. 

  A study by Michigan State University showed that owning a dog generally makes a person more active due to walking the dog daily or multiple times a week.  The study showed that owners have about 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 days a week while only one-third of non dog owners could fit in that exercise.

    Michigan State researchers took the exercise routine of 5,900 Michigan residents, 2170 of whom were dog owners.

  Two thirds of dog owners took their dogs for regular walks, lasting at least 10 minutes.  Dog walking was highest amongst young adults: 18 – 20 years olds are twice as likely to walk their dogs as people of 65.

  Also, college graduates were more than twice as likely to walk their dogs over those who are less educated.  Younger dogs were more likely to be walked than older dogs and larger dogs were taken for longer walks than smaller dogs.

  “One of my family members walks my dog everyday.  It’s one of those workouts where you don’t even feel like you’re doing anything but eventually you see results from all of the walking you and your dog do,” said Sophomore Samantha Cicatello.

  Although most dog owners benefit from the exercise they get from walking their dogs, not all dog owners walk their dogs.  Forty percent of dog owners who said they do not walk their dogs said that they let their dogs run free in their yards, so the dog does not need to be walked.  Eleven percent said they hired dog walkers.

  “We don’t usually take our dog for a walk because we have a huge back yard with a fence so our dog just runs freely through it.  When he’s out in our back yard, he can stay out for as long as he wants and do whatever without us worrying about him,” said Sophomore Erin Allegro.

  Another study last year by the University of Missouri showed that dogs are better walking companions than humans.  Dog walkers show a much greater improvement in fitness than people who walk with other people.

  Since dogs are dependent on their owners, it is their owner’s job to take them for walks.  People who don’t have dogs do not have that responsibility.    Dogs can be the gateway becoming more active and living a healthier lifestyle.

#dogs #exercise #KathrynOliva

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