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Dog owners ‘more likely to meet exercise guidelines’
Sixty four per cent of dog owners said they walk with their dogs for at least 150 minutes per week.

Health benefits should be recognised and facilitated, researchers say

Dog owners are four times more likely to complete the recommended level of physical activity per week than non dog owners, new research has confirmed.

It is recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week, but this is only achieved by 66 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women in England.

Whilst it is expected than dog ownership encourages physical activity, it has previously been unclear whether dog walking results in more physical activity, or simply replaces other forms of exercise.

According to a study by the University of Liverpool, published in Scientific Reports, 64 per cent of dog owners walk with their dogs for at least 150 minutes per week. Dog owners were found to walk more frequently and for longer periods than non dog owners. And this activity was carried out in addition to, not instead of other forms of physical activity.

Researchers studied the self-reported activity of 385 households in West Cheshire, comprising 191 dog owning adults, 455 non dog owning adults and 46 children.

Dr Carri Westgarth commented: “Our findings provide support for the role of pet dogs in promoting and maintaining positive health behaviours such as walking. Without dogs, it is likely that population physical activity levels would be much lower.

“The health benefits of dog ownership should be recognised and facilitated through the provision of dog-supportive walking environments and pet-friendly housing; failure of planning and policy makers to provide these may significantly damage population levels of physical activity.”

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Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

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News Shorts
Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.