A new study has suggested dog owners are much fitter and healthier than those who do not own a canine buddy.
The study, conducted by the University of Liverpool, revealed dog owners tend to walk longer and much more often, and are almost four times more likely to meet the required UK exercise guidelines for a long and healthy life.
Researchers found that without dogs, it is likely the populations physical activity levels would be much lower, and we would be a lot less healthy.
The results of the study come from research of 191 dog owners and 455 non-owners, who were all asked about their exercise habits.
The study found owners walked an average of 9.6 times a week for a total of 347 minutes, while non-owners had 4.6 walks lasting a total of just 159 minutes over the same time span.
The conclusion revealed that nearly nine in 10 dog owners met the recommended NHS health target of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, compared with about six in 10 non-owners.
When factors such as age and gender were removed from the study, the figures revealed dog owners are four more times likely to hit targets.
Researchers also revealed that regular walks with your pooch also helped to boost mental health and community spirit.
For more information on the dog visit the University of Liverpool online.