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exercise and outdoor access

Most owners viewed exercising their dog as a benefit of dog ownership, as it provided motivation for the owner to walk and run – and a companion to do it with. In general, dog owners were aware of the need to give their pets exercise to minimise behavioural problems. Some owners had ended up with dogs that were more energetic than expected; however, this is something they coped with by exercising the dog as much as possible. In fact, despite living in medium to high-density housing, only 15% of owners said they had a breed that didn’t need much exercise.


The survey found that half the pets (51%) were let out regularly for exercise and 47% of owners regularly walked their dog around the streets; 21% of owners coped with the exercise demands of their dog by increasing exercise on weekends. Another 2% paid a dog-walker to exercise their Most owners viewed exercising their dog as a benefit of dog ownership, as it provided motivation for the owner to walk and run – and a companion to do it with. In general, dog owners were aware of the need to give their pets exercise to minimise behavioural problems. Some owners had ended up with dogs that were more energetic than expected; however, this is something they coped with by exercising the dog as much as possible. In fact, despite living in medium to high-density housing, only 15% of owners said they had a breed that didn’t need much exercise.


The survey found that half the pets (51%) were let out regularly for exercise and 47% of owners regularly walked their dog around the streets; 21% of owners coped with the exercise demands of their dog by increasing exercise on weekends. Another 2% paid a dog-walker to exercise their dog for them. And 31% of owners had access to a secure outdoor area that their pet could use whenever they chose.


But not all exercise happened outdoors. Owners undertook other activities with their dogs, including ball-chasing, wrestling and encouraging play with another dog, to exercise their pets. Cat owners were more likely to let cats outdoors regularly without supervision but some owners had trained their cat to walk on a harness.


In the great outdoors…or not section we provide tips on how to create a pet-friendly space and also features of a pet-friendly domicile. There are some great publications on walks to enjoy with your dog.