Statistics About Dog Walking
We all know that walking your dog is an extremely important part of maintaining a happy and healthy dog. It is also known that walking your dog will provide a range of benefits for you and them, so lets take a look at some statistics based on dog walking and the habits of dog owners…
- 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 confirmed that they see their dog as part of the family
- 56% of dog owners would even greet their dog the moment they come back home
When it came to the why behind dog walking, dog owners claimed that dog walks made their dog feel:
- Happier (70%)
- More energetic (46%)
- Relaxed (41%)
- De-stressed (93%)
It is interesting to find too that a vast majority of human parents actually walk their dog in order to socialize with others people as well. In another study, 1 out of 5 pet parents had claimed that they are also motivated to walk their dog due to photo ops that they can post on social media and/or keep in with them for memory’s sake. On average, dog owners walk about 8 hours and 54 minutes per week! That means that an average dog owner will walk about 36 miles per week if they walked at steady pace. WOW! And what happens if they kept this up for a year? 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!
78% of the pet parents also surveyed in this study, believe that their dog should be walked twice a day, and 22% of them actually walk their dog once or less a day. Aside from these encouraging statistics, there are 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 dogs walks, the most common reasons given by dog owners were:
- 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. 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. Half of dog parents surveyed claimed that they feel guilty if they skip out on walking their dog, and 1 in 5 admitted to treating their dogs with some type of special treat in order to make up for lost time. These “treats” included:
- Special food/Dog treats
- Extra pampering/Cuddling sessions
- New toy purchases
- Hiring a dog walker
Another study sadly showed that it is also common for dog parents to neglect their dog completely when it came to play time, walks, fun activities, etc. Over a million dog owners who responded to a survey admitted to leaving their dogs in a cage or room as they go to work with no healthy outdoor exposure and no companionship for hours on end. It is said the minimum amount of exercise needed for a dog will vary depending on breed, size, existing health conditions, etc. 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 and can become more prone to orthopedic injury/issues.
Health Benefits of walking your Dog
Walking your dog is obviously beneficial to everybody’s health, right? But what are the facts and statistics that prove this claim? First, did you know that dog owners who walk their dogs on a daily basis are much more likely to hit their fitness goals compared to non-dog owners?
According to researchers at the Michigan State University:
- 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 keeping their pet satisfied
Another interesting fact behind dog walking is that dog owners, who walk their dogs consistently, have a lower chance of developing a lifestyle disease. 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 the physical suffering that you and your pets go through, diabetes is also a very costly condition.
Another statistic provided by Cancer Research UK, proved that regular exercise such as brisk walking could help prevent roughly 3,400 cases of cancer in the whole of UK each year. So, that being said. the chances of developing cancer are actually lower if you walk every day- and who better to motivate you for those walks than your furry family member?
Next, dog walking not only helps us physically, but walking with your dog is proven to be beneficial for your mental health as well. It is known to lower the stress hormone oxytocin, thus reducing our stress levels. It is also responsible for boosting the moods of both the dog and owner as the dopamine and serotonin levels within their bodies raise.
Dogs and Children
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 them every day), dogs are the perfect companion to prevent allergies and autoimmune diseases in children.
Why Having a Dog is Good For You
Not surprising to most pet owners, you’ll be happier with you have a pet at home and in turn, you’ll make the animal happier too. Positive interaction (from 5 to 24 mins. in duration) between dogs and people result in an increase in dopamine levels in the brain in both humans and dogs. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that play an important role in feelings of happiness and low levels of dopamine have been associated with depression. It also may seem like a “no-brainer” about the health benefits of having a dog, but some studies have the data to back up these claims. In fact, one study found that dog-owners who survived a heart attack were more likely to live through the following year than their non-dog-owning counterparts! The same study found that people who live alone with a dog are 35% less likely to die from myocardial infarction and 28% less likely to die of a ischemic stroke than someone living alone without a dog.
About Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Care Company | Maitland, FL
Rachel has been working in the Pet Care Industry for the last few years and started her career in a local Canine Health & Fitness Center that also incorporated canine hydrotherapy, dog daycare & boarding. While working at Rocky’s Retreat, under the previous ownership of Sherri Cappabianca and Toby Gass, Rachel became certified in canine hydrotherapy and they taught her everything she knows about canine care, hydrotherapy, health and fitness.
Rachel is currently the owner/founder of Dip’n Dogs Canine Hydrotherapy and Walk’n Dogs – A Dog Walking Service in the Orlando, FL area. Dip’n Dogs provides water therapy for dogs with any orthopedic condition, degenerative disease, injury or obesity. Walk’n Dogs provides in-home visits for dog walking, pet sitting, pet taxi and pet errands. Each service is customized to fit each dog and their needs. Rachel caters to Winter Park, Baldwin Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Winter Springs and Oviedo, FL.
Rachel is also the owner and dog mom to her two beagles, Leo and Lola.