Study: Dog Owners are Healthier

A new study led by a Michigan State University researcher shows people who owned and walked their dogs were 34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks on physical activity than those who don’t have dogs. The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

According to epidemiologist Mathew Reeves, the study shows that promoting dog ownership and dog walking could help many Americans to become healthier. Currently fewer than half of the American population meets recommended levels of leisure-time physical activity.

“Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity available to people,” Reeves said. “What we wanted to know was if dog owners who walked their dogs were getting more physical activity or if the dog-walking was simply a substitute for other forms of activity.”

Obviously if you are taking your dog for daily walks your level of activity increases, but the team found that not only did owning and walking a dog increase the amount of walking a person does but that they were more active overall.

“There appears to be a strong link between owning and walking a dog and achieving higher levels of physical activity, even after accounting for the actual dog walking.”

Reeves also noted  that spending time with a dog  has been shown to have a positive impact on quality of life.

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Marilyn Byrne

I've had dogs all my life I'm nearly 66 and am hardly ever ill!!! Thanks to my dogs for all the love they give me. Marilyn B.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thanks for the article.

J.L. A.
JL A.2 years ago

good to know

Fiona T.
Fi T.2 years ago

It's the love we receive that counts

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Aud Nordby
Aud nordby3 years ago

yes we are.:-) Lots of walks and air:-)

Despina Vekris
Despina Vekris3 years ago


Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago

Old news are old.

Darla G.
Darla G.3 years ago

My dogs are both seniors now so their activity level has decreased, especially the oldest of the two (age 14). The younger one is almost 9 and she's still up for a morning jog! I believe that dogs do keep you healthier, both physically and emotionally.

Anneke Andries
Anneke Andries3 years ago

without my dog, my activities outdoors would be nearly zero; the same for those surprising, unexpected, but non-committal encounters with other dog owners!