The Unexamined Life

Dog Owners Are More Fit Than Other People, Study Claims

A study revealed that dog owners are healthier than other people since they engage in constant exercises with their pets. The study raised the issue of needing more dog-friendly homes and parks and revealed that without dogs, the population’s physical activity levels would be lower.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool conducted a study on 191 dog owners and compared their exercise habits with 455 non-owners. They found that the owners engaged in physical activities with their pets about 9.6 times per week, which accounts for 347 minutes of exercise. The non-owners, on the other hand, only exercised for 159 minutes per week.

The results showed that dog owners are 10 times more active than those without pets, making the former healthier than the latter. According to lead researcher Dr. Carri Westgarth, dog owners’ active lifestyle boosts their mental health and improves their social capacity. She added that without dogs, the population’s physical activity levels would be significantly lower, New York Post has learned.

The researchers suggested that having dog-loving environments and showcasing a dog-friendly house improve one’s physicality provided that owners engage in constant exercises with their pets.

According to a General Social Survey conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago to measure the political, cultural and behavioral changes in America, dog owners were found happier than cat owners. The results showed that those who own dogs were more likely to get married and own homes — the standards used as indicators of happiness.

The study also showed that dog owners who walk their pets have healthier friendships with their neighbors because they typically engage in conversations while walking their pets. On top of which, those who play with their pets more often receive emotional support, making them less susceptible to depression. The analysts said that those who have stronger bonds with dogs also have a better sense of well-being.

Although constantly walking dogs is a healthy activity, Hills Pet suggested that dog owners must also be mindful when the weather heats up. Heat exhaustion leads to fatal conditions such as stroke and cardiac arrest in dogs. Thus, it is not advisable to walk your dog when it is more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It is also recommended that dog owners must always hydrate their dogs with water when engaging them in physical activities.