Two small new studies, however, may offer novel ways to promote dog walking and its myriad benefits, even to people without dogs. But the results also indicate that there can be substantial barriers to using a pet to improve your health. Anyone who owns a dog, which includes me, knows that most of them yearn to go on walks, whatever the time or weather. If I skip our usual morning jog, my dogs flop onto the floor, disconsolate and reproachful.
The walk would be good for all of us. According to recent studies, adults who often walk a dog are more likely than those who do not to meet the standard exercise recommendation of about 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. Well-exercised dogs also tend to be leaner and better behaved than sedentary canines.