University Study Shows Positive Correlation Between Pet Ownership and Exercise in Children

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Online Pet Accessories, an online pet store based in Australia, confirms findings, and offers corroborating professional opinion.

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Online Pet Accessories

We’re happy that this study is out to confirm what most pet owners already know: owning a pet is mutually beneficial for both the pet and the owner. It’s the ultimate win-win situation.

At the University of Western Australia’s Centre for the Built Environment and Health, Assistant Professor Hayley Christian and colleagues recently completed a study of the effect that owning a dog has on a child’s exercise habits. According to the study, a child who has a dog is “49% more likely to be sufficiently active” than a child who does not have a dog.

According to Christian, “The message is that if you have a dog and you walk it, it can make a great contribution to your overall physical activity and health and wellbeing.” The results are in line with earlier studies which indicate that approximately 40% of Australian households have dogs, but less than 50% walk their dogs on a regular basis.

The research, along with a new study called “Pooches and Walking Study” or “PAWS” is intended to uncover the causal agents behind the data. Christian cites many factors that influence how often pet owners walk their dogs, including the dog’s age, its physical condition, and how the dog conducts itself. Another factor is a pet owner’s sense of duty toward a pet. According to Christian, “If you feel that you have an obligation to walk your dog then you are more likely to do so.”

The new study, PAWS, will take a closer look at motivating factors that determine whether or not an owner will walk a dog on a regular basis. One part of the study will determine whether advice from a vet during a consultation that a dog needs to be walked results in the owner being more likely to walk the dog.

PAWS will also study whether or not using a pedometer on a dog will help motivate an owner to walk a dog. Research indicates that people are, indeed, motivated by the use of a pedometer on themselves; a comparison of this study to previous research might yield surprising results.

Christian cites other factors that determine whether an owner walks a dog regularly. An owner’s belief that a dog motivates them to exercise more appears to be a causative factor, if not a self-fulfilling prophecy. Another very important factor is the ease with which the immediate environment allows an owner to walk a dog. The easier it is to walk a dog, the more likely an owner is to do so.

Jason Balchand, Owner of Online Pet Accessories, a pet supplies online firm in Australia, thinks the study is refreshing, and he is always happy to see the knowledge base of the effects of pet ownership expanded: “We like this study a lot. Most pet owners already believe most of this in their hearts, but it’s always great to see it confirmed by a scientific study.”

Balchand continued, “As pet owners, we love our animals, and our animals love us back. We have known for years that owning a pet helps people live longer, happier lives. We have also noticed that kids who own pets are generally better-adjusted, and have a better sense of both compassion and responsibility. We’re not surprised that owning a pet makes a child more likely to get exercise.”

Balchand concluded, “We’re happy that this study is out to confirm what most pet owners already know: owning a pet is mutually beneficial for both the pet and the owner. It’s the ultimate win-win situation.”

Online Pet Accessories is an online pet store based in Australia. They have all the supplies you need for your pet dog, cat, bird, and even hermit crab. To see their full line of pet supplies, please visit their website: or call them at 08 9296 7544.

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