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Published: Apr 25, 2011

A recent study conducted at Michigan State University confirms what many pet owners may already know - walking the dog on a regular basis makes it easier to reach exercise goals. The study was published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

"Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity available to people," said Mathew Reeves, who led the study. "What we wanted to know was if dog owners who walked their dogs were getting more physical activity or if the dog-walking was simply a substitute for other forms of activity."

The results indicated that people who owned and walked canines were 34 percent more likely to reach federal standards for exercise than those who did not. This suggests that pet parents walk their dogs in addition to, rather than instead of other types of exercise.

The reseaarchers found that dog owners who regularly took their dogs on strolls walked on average one hour per week more than their peers who opted to hire a dog walker. Additionally, it seems that dog owners who take daily walks are more active over all than the average person.

Walking is also good for dogs. Experts suggest that canines should be taken out for exercise at least twice a day.