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A study shows that walking a dog makes a person more active overall – or is it that active people are more likely to take a dog on walks?

People who walk dogs are more active beyond just the dog walking part of their lives, than are people who have dogs but don’t walk them, says a study from Michigan State University. Maybe owning — and walking — a dog is just what the doctor ordered.

“What we wanted to know was if dog owners who walked their dogs were getting more physical activity or if the dog-walking was simply a substitute for other forms of activity,” says epidemiologist Mathew Reeves.

The investigation revealed that dog walkers were overall more active than those with dogs who did not walk them.

It’s expected that dog walkers do more walking, but this category of pet owners actually had greater overall levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity, says the report.

“There appears to be a strong link between owning and walking a dog and achieving higher levels of physical activity, even after accounting for the actual dog walking,” adds Reeves.

The study revealed another interesting finding: Small dogs were walked for a shorter duration than were large breeds. Does this stem from the belief that small canines require less exercise than big ones?

Or could it be that sedentary people are more likely to own a Pomeranian than a German shepherd?

If you have a dog but have not been walking it, get moving—not only for your pet’s cardiovascular health, but for your own.

If there’s a problem with your pet pulling too much, then take it to an off-leash park and trot around with it.

There is an obesity epidemic going on in America. I see people outside walking all the time—sometimes by themselves, sometimes pushing a stroller and sometimes holding the leash of Rover or Rocky.

Very few of these people I see outdoors are obese. People need to get moving, to get their heart rate up, and this includes sedentary skinny people as well!