Eight out of ten dog owners admit they walk pets just for peace and quiet
The study carried out among 2,000 canine-keepers found as well as exercising their pooch, 73 per cent believe getting out and around with the hound is a vital destressing tool amid the hustle and bustle of life.
Another eight in 10 said the time spent with mans’ best friend gives them valuable thinking time while almost three quarters see it as a chance to escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Almost six in 10 even claimed the daily dog walk is the only point in the day they get out and about and enjoy some ‘headspace’, with almost half saying regular ‘me time’ is the best part of their walk.
It also emerged one in five dog owners have made a major life decision while out walking their pet, as it allows them to ‘mull over’ solutions to life’s problems or dilemma.
One third of those have used the time to move to a new house, while more than one in four have taken the plunge and ended a relationship.
Others have made the decision to change jobs, start their own business or even try for a baby.
Gemma Cunningham, brand manager for YuMOVE, which commissioned the research, said: “Walking the dog is one of the most important jobs as an owner.
“But while it is primarily for the benefit of the dog, it can also be beneficial for dog owners too.
“Getting away from everyday life for a bit while you go on a quiet stroll can give you some much needed time with mans best friend to clear your head and enjoy some time to yourself – something many can struggle to get otherwise.
“Not only is it good for your own health and wellbeing, but you can be safe in the knowledge that your beloved pooch is also going to be better off for it.”
The study also found the average dog owner heads out on eight walks with their pet a week, and with each one lasting around 30 minutes, that amounts to four hours of thinking time per week.
More than three quarters said the opportunity to get outside and do some exercise at the same time as their pet is one of the best things about walking their dog, while six in 10 enjoy the opportunity of having quality time and bonding with their pooch.
It also emerged 68 percent of dog owners believe their daily walk with their pet helps to improve their own physical health and another 64 percent think it boosts their mood and mental health.
Rather than seeing it as a chore, a staggering 97 percent generally enjoy walking their dogs with more than a quarter saying they feel disappointed if they don’t get chance to go out as planned.
Others feel guilty, irritable and even sad when they don’t get to enjoy their daily dog walk.
Being outdoors, meeting other dog owners and discovering new places are also among the reported benefits of walking the dog.
More than one in five also think walking the dog improves their relationship with their family and almost eight in 10 also say their relationship with their dog has improved thanks to their regular walks.
While 65 percent of the dog owners polled, via OnePoll, walk their dog alone, 29 percent use it as an opportunity to go for a stroll with their partner while 16 per cent take their children along.
As a result, four in 10 say walking together has bought them more laughter and enjoyment, while 21 percent say it has made them more trusting.
Others say they are now more honest with each other and also more supportive.
Gemma Cunningham added: “It is clear there are several kinds of dog walkers who find different purpose and meaning in their daily walks.
“Whether it is to spend more time together with the family, get more exercise or simply find some peace and quiet, the walk can bring a wide range of benefits.
“While it is important to find time for ourselves in our busy lives, it is also important to consider whether the type of walk you take is right for your dog.
“We have developed a handy exercise calculator to work out how many miles your dog would be happy and comfortable walking to ensure you are keeping them happy and healthy for as long as possible.”
To find out what type of dog walker you are try out the dog walker quiz – https://www.lintbells.com/pages/what-kind-of-dog-walker-are-you
Top 10 best things about walking the dog
1. Getting some exercise (77 percent)
2. Being outside (77 percent)
3. Playing and bonding with my dog (59 percent)
4. Getting some peace and quiet (58 percent)
5. Getting some time to myself (47 percent)
6. It puts me in a good mood (40 percent)
7. It’s a good way to start and finish the day (38 percent)
8. Meeting other dog owners (36 percent)
9. Spending some quality time with my family (31 percent)
10. Discovering new places (31 percent)
Top 10 life decisions to make while walking the dog
1. To move house (33 percent)
2. To apply for a new job (30 percent)
3. To start a new hobby (28 percent)
4. To leave my job (27 percent)
5. To end my relationship (25 percent)
6. To start up my own business (21 percent)
7. To get married (19 percent)
8. To try for a baby (19 percent)
9. To start a new relationship (18 percent)
10. To get divorced (13 percent)
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