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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.