Dog walk lead

Scots love walking their dogs to de-stress their minds

A study has found that a huge proportion of dog owners feel that walking their dog is crucial for de-stressing from the hectic buzz of daily life.

Out of the 2,000 owners involved in the study in Scotland, 75% see a dog walk as an escape and almost two thirds claim that this is the only time in the day they are guaranteed peace and quiet.

The study also showed that almost 17% of dog owners have made a major life decision whilst out on a walk as it gave them the time and space to think about and find solutions to any problems that they may experiencing.

It turns out that 39% of those involved in the survey decided to move house and 25% decided to end a relationship whilst out on a dog walk.

Similarly, others who took part in the study have decided to change jobs, start their own business or try for a baby. This shows how walking a dog and getting some fresh air in this way can provide the escape and time to stop and think about your life and yourself.

It offers walkers the ability to access the tranquillity, the seemingly rare phenomenon so vital in maintaining a basic level of sanity.

Brand manager for YuMOVE which commissioned the research, Gemma Cunningham said: ‘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.’

The study also found that the average dog owner in Scotland goes for more than 15 walks during the week with their pet, usually lasting around 30 minutes.

This adds up to seven and a half hours of largely uninterrupted thinking time each week for the walker.

More than four in five owners claim that getting outside and doing exercise at the same time as their pet is one of the best things about going on dog walks and nearly two thirds enjoy and appreciated the quality time they get to spend with their dog.

98% of the owners in Scotland actively enjoy walking their dogs and more than 25% express disappointment if they are unable to do so. 46% feel guilty, 9% irritable and 19% sad if they miss their daily walk.

On the other hand the reported benefits of walking the dog are as follows: 82% being outdoors, 40% meeting other owners and 30% discovering new places.

Almost four in five people say their relationship with their dog has improved through their daily walks. 69% of dog owners polled via OnePoll that they walk their dog alone, over 25% see it as a chance to go for a nice walk with their partner and 19% take their children with them.

As a result of this, 39% claim that walking together has encouraged laughter and enjoyment, 16% say it has made them more honest and trusting and 33% that it has made them more supportive.

Gemma added: ‘It is clear there are several kinds of dog walkers who find different purpose and meaning in their daily walks. Whether it is to spend more time together with the family, get more exercise of simply find some peace and quiet, the walk can bring a wide range of benefits.

‘While it is important to find time for ourselves in our busy lives, it is also important to consider whether the type of walk you take is right for your dog. 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.’

Walking the dog can be a therapeutic activity for both owner and pet and offer an opportunity to relax and take a break from the high speed thing that is life.

YuMOVE has also created a quiz to show you what type of dog walker you are – click HERE.

Top 10 best things about walking the dog: 1. Getting some exercise (77%); 2. Being outside (77%); 3. Playing and bonding with my dog (59%); 4. Getting some peace and quiet (58%); 5. Getting some time to myself (47%); 6. It puts me in a good mood (40%); 7. It’s a good way to start and finish the day (38%); 8. Meeting other dog owners (36%); 9. Spending some quality time with my family (31%); 10. Discovering new places (31%).

Top 10 life decisions made while walking the dog: 1. To move house (33%); 2. To apply for a new job (30%); 3. To start a new hobby (28%); 4. To leave my job (27%); 5. To end my relationship (25%); 6. To start up my own business (21%); 7. To get married (19%); 8. To try for a baby (19%); 9. To start a new relationship (18%); 10. To get divorced (13%).