Dog ownership causes people to take significantly more exercise, and it improves people’s moods.
Listen to the podcast below to find out more.
Study of how dogs ownership affects people
Examining How Dog ‘Acquisition’Affects Physical Activity and Psychosocial Well-Being: Findings from the BuddyStudy Pilot Trial. POTTER, K., TENG, J. E., MASTELLER, B., RAJALA, C. & BALZER, L. B. 2019.
This recent study of the value of the human:animal bond showed that dog owners are more physically active than non-dog owners, but the direction of the relationship between dog ownership and increased physical activity is unknown. In other words, it is unclear whether acquiring a dog causes a person to become more active, or whether more physically active people choose to acquire dogs. Given that regular physical activity is critical for the prevention and management of numerous chronic diseases, research supporting the hypothesis that dogs make people more active could inform programs and policies that encourage responsible dog ownership. The study used dog fostering to mimic dog acquisition, and examined how taking a dog into one’s home affected physical activity and psychosocial well-being. Nearly half of study participants saw large increases in physical activity and nearly three-quarters saw improvements in mood after fostering for six weeks. More than half met someone new in their neighborhood because of their foster dog. Most participants adopted their foster dog after the six-week foster period, and some maintained improvements in physical activity and well-being at 12 weeks. The results of this pilot study are promising and warrant a larger investigation.
Click on the play button below to hear the podcast, which goes on to discuss the possible impact of Brexit on pet travel to the UK from Ireland.