Better Health May be Another Benefit of Dog Ownership
Canadian researchers are studying the health benefits of dog-walking, an exercise that most dog owners probably don’t realize offers real health benefits to them, as well as to their dogs. An important factor in the equation is that many dog owners feel obliged to walk their dogs regardless of the weather or other extenuating circumstances. These regular walks keep both the dog and its owner fit and makes them both feel better once they get out. According to Ryan Rhodes of the University of Victoria, only about half of dog owners actively walk their dogs. ”So there’s still room in there to try to get people who own dogs to walk more.”
The goal of Rhodes’ research is to find the best ways to motivate people to walk their dogs. And as a dog trainer who specializes in helping problem dogs, I think this work will help dogs as much as their owners.
Another study conducted at the University of Portsmouth, found that along with health benefits, walking a dog provides a ritual that can create a deeper bond in human families. Parents who participated in the study were pleased to discover that their children were happy to leave behind the television and computer to get some fresh air and exercise by walking the dog.