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A study from Michigan State University showed that most pet owners who take their companion animals for regular walks meet federal criteria for moderate to vigorous exercise. No pet at home? Only 30 percent of you are likely to get that much regular exercise.
The investigators looked at the exercise habits of 5,900 people, including 2,170 dog owners and asked the dog owners if walking their pets added to their daily exercise or replaced exercise they might have otherwise done. The dog owners were more likely than those who didn’t have canine companions to get additional exercise via sports, gardening or other leisure activities.
The researchers found that those most likely to walk their dogs were young (18-24 year olds were twice as likely to walk their dogs as those over 65). They also reported that college graduates were more than twice as likely to walk their dogs as those with less schooling. Some owners just let their dogs run in the yard or hired dog-walkers.