Not only does walking your dog have huge benefits for your physical health, researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that it also has a positive impact on your mental health.
Their survey of 25 dog owners found that while they say the reason they go walking is to benefit their beloved pooch, the improvement in their own happiness is a clear motivator.
And it’s not just the endorphin rush that naturally comes with exercise, these happy feels are based on the owner believing that their dog is loving the walk too.
Increased physical health and social interactions with other dog walkers were found to be secondary bonuses, rather than strong motivating factors.
Study leader Dr Carri Westgarth says, “It's clear from our findings that dog walking is used to meet the emotional needs of the owner as well as the needs of the dog.”