Dogs improve physical fitness, study finds

Although many dog-owners will have assumed as much, a study recently carried out by the University of Calgary (Canada) has proven that dogs do, indeed, cause their owners to become more fit and active.

The study was carried out in order to evaluate the link (if any) between owning a dog and physical activity. 428 people were studied in total, of which 115 owned dogs. Two surveys in total were carried out – one during the winter and one during the summer – in order to control for variances that may occur across seasons.

The fact that the study was carried out in winter and summer is especially significant given the harsh winters that occur in Calgary, which one would reasonably assume would cause a substantial decrease in outdoor activity.

The findings of the study suggested that, compared to non-dog owners, dog owners didn’t have such a substantial change in activity between the seasons, implying therefore that the benefits offered by owning a dog occur regardless of the elements.

This study was done in order to add to previous research that showed dog walking encourages people to walk more even when they’re not with their dog.

However, the Calgary Humane Society has been quick to point out that not everyone is able to own a dog, and those who can’t should offer to walk friend’s/neighbour’s dogs or should volunteer with a dog adoption agency – both of which can offer similar health benefits as owning a dog.