I know that’s a silly question, of course they can! They are dependent on us for letting them outside – oh wait we don’t have to go out with them, we can just open the door and let them do their thing. Not so fast, did you know an estimated 52.6% of US dogs are overweight or obese, according to Pet Obesity Prevention that equates to roughly 43.8 million US dogs as overweight and 13.9 million as obese. Wow those are alarming stats and one can only imagine the cost associated with treating obese pets along with the health related illnesses.
Based on these stats it seems like the answer is no because all your dog does is laze on the couch and watch TV with you, but hang on dog ownership can actually provide a variety of health benefits.
Anecdotal and scientific evidence has shown that dog owners tend to be healthier than the average person. Here are a few examples that having a dog might just keep us healthier and happier.
- This is perhaps no surprise to owners that frequently walk or exercise with their dogs. After all, dogs are more likely to beg for a walk or a game of fetch than other house pets.
- According to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Public Health, children with dogs spent more time doing moderate to vigorous physical activity than children without dogs.
- And this effect extends to adult dog owners. According to a 2006 study done by Canadian researchers at the University of Victoria, dog owners were more likely to participate in mild to moderate physical activity. They walked an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who walked an average of 168 minutes per week.
Regardless, this still hinges on your willingness to walk the dog in the first place. According to a 2006 study by Johns
Hopkins University researchers, while dog ownership might obligate owners to walk their dogs, only a fraction of owners walked their dogs at least three times a week, and that fraction was especially among elderly dog owners. Therefore, even though dog ownership might promote walking activity and motivate both the dog and the owner to go outside for some fresh air, you’re not going to experience those benefits if you’re too reluctant to walk the dog.
For me I am new to dog ownership as we just got two Dobermans and let me tell you they are a handful but in a good way. Our oldest Marley is hyper-aware, very active, super smart and she loves laps. Our youngest, Marshall, is a rescue and has hip dysplasia yet the sweetest thing you’d ever meet. We love getting outside every day and either running, walking or taking them to the dog park and let me tell you they love it! And what I really love is when we come home from all this activity they are passed out on the couch with a smile 🙂
Has it made me more active, well – I’ve already had an active life but with them if I am low on energy or having a bad day they still need to go outside and despite their crazy leash biting and not walking a straight line it is fun! I’m sure I’ve been the sight of entertainment for many in-town drivers seeing this guy walking two big Dobermans equaling 70 and 85lbs – so yes they have made me more active and stronger because they get stubborn and sometimes you’ve got to pull them. Now my gait might be getting impacted because of how they gyrate me but it’s all good.
So it got me thinking as we have been working hard on community health and engagement initiatives we’ve started to notice more and more pet-friendly events and communities that are more inviting towards pets including pet friendly restaurants. It seems to be a growing trend and from this it made me further think about the platform that we have built it can easily be a platform for pets and their owners. So we are piloting the idea of creating a social engagement platform for pet-owners where you would upload a picture of your pet and log their daily activities or the pet friendly events completed.
So if you are a pet-owner create a pet profile on www.cmecompete.com and join me on the PetsRFit2 Community as we start to innovate within this space – after all pets can make us healthier so why not reward them for their accomplishments! More details coming soon regarding this pilot!