Four out of five dog owners only walk their pet for peace and quiet, study finds

Eight out of ten dog owners admit they take their pet out for a walk – just to get some peace and quiet, it as emerged. 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 de-stressing 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. 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.” 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 per cent of dog owners believe their daily walk with their pet helps to improve their own physical health and another 64 per cent think it boosts their mood and mental health. 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. As a result, four in 10 say walking together has bought them more laughter and enjoyment, while 21 per cent say it has made them more trusting. 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.