Two recent studies have found that having a dog can help us reach our diet and fitness goals better than not having a dog.
The first was a study conducted in 2004 by Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with Hill’s Science Diet pet foods. The year-long study showed that both people and pets are more successful in losing weight and keeping it off when they exercise together. Read more here.
The second study, from the University of Missouri in 2005, found that when people become responsible for walking a dog, they lost more weight on average than those who participate in nationally known diet plans. Wow. Click here for more details.
It comes as no surprise to us dog owners that the companionship of a workout buddy — as well as the responsibility of having a dog depend on you for its exercise — is motivating and makes exercise more enjoyable. Our beloved dogs, who carry out their duty of reducing stress in our lives with dedication and abject joy, are now doing what they do best in the area of fitness. Indeed, some of these participants started out walking their dogs only 10 minutes, three times a week. Yet the dogs and people lost an average of 14-15 lbs over the course of a year.
Not only that, new studies show that walking can combat mild depression, so the benefits of getting out with Fido go beyond physical fitness.