The doctors and scientists have confirmed what pet owners have known for centuries – dogs are good for you!
Pet ownership increases physical activity and reduces obesity, but also reduces stress and builds community.
Owning and walking a dog significantly increases the amount of walking a person does. Young girls who own a dog spend 29 minutes more per day in physical activity than their friends without a dog.
Scientists proved some years ago that obese people who diet and exercise with their obese dogs are much more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people who diet and exercise alone.
Recent studies of school age children have shown that just incidental play and interaction with the dog were enough to prevent obesity.
Children of dog-owning families were in better physical condition even if they did not personally walk the dog.
Dogs owners report that their dogs are a strong source of motivation, companionship and social support – that is great mates!
Dogs have social benefits and build community networks because owners interact with other people on walks and at dog related activities like obedience classes.