A recent study by BMC Public Health revealed dog owners on average walk 22 minutes more per day than people who don’t own dogs, this is an additional 2760 steps per day. Another consideration for achieving ‘fit dog and fit owner’ is diet and nutrition. Obesity in the human world is a current issue and, in addition, veterinarians are now advising a similar situation has developed in dogs. In many ways, it is not surprising that our furry friends are becoming afflicted with current human health issues as evidence suggests they may have lived alongside humans for as long as 30,000 years. To combat this health issue current focus for people is on healthier and more nutritious diets, in particular keeping snacks between meals as healthy as possible. The same applies to our four-legged companions, snacks should be nutritious, natural and free of artificial additives. It goes without saying, that an owner who pays attention to their own diet and nutrition will likely do the same for their beloved companion.
Together is better
Dog owners are more likely to achieve their fitness goals and are more committed to sticking to their fitness schedule than those who exercised alone or whose fitness buddies were human. The dog-owner relationship supports being active together, this may be due to the bond causing a sense of obligation in the owner to fulfill this need of the dog’s and also the associated feelings of support and inspiration to exercise, from the four-legged friend, that the owner experiences. There are now so many innovative ways that dogs can be included in sport, with associated benefits for both participants. Many dog/human sports clubs and groups have developed for the various dog/human sports (e.g. canicross, agility etc.). These groups also provide a human social element to further enhance exercising with your dog. Exercising with your dog can be self-perpetuating as motivation levels increase the fitter you both become.
The future is with dogs
The amazing benefits of activities with your furry friend may lead to secure the place of dogs firmly alongside humans as we progress through this century. Dog popularity has boomed with owning a dog in the USA up by 29% in the last decade, that’s 105 million American dog-owners. Dogs are also known to improve their owner’s emotional well-being as well as physical fitness. With all these wonderful factors associated with owning a dog, it’s no wonder that more people are opening up their heart and homes for a loyal canine companion.
Lucy Wyndham has been lucky enough to live with and work with dogs her entire life. She is more than a little puppy mad; especially when it comes to dog videos. She’s mostly had setters, spaniels, and Labradors, but through her work as a dog walker in her teens and while volunteering with several animal charities, she’s walked every kind of dog imaginable.