Americans Walk Dogs to Stay Fit

Nearly two-thirds of owners exercise with their dogs, according to a new poll.

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In observance of National Pet Month in May, pet care products manufacturer Hartz Mountain Corp. has released the results of its latest national survey of pet owners.

According to the poll, 52 percent of dog owners surveyed said they take their pet with them when they exercise. And of those, 64 percent said they view early morning and late night jaunts as a great way to exercise.

About three-quarters of the respondents who own dogs cited their pets need for exercise as the main reason for walking their dog.

In addition to getting out and exercising with their pets, the survey found that 67 percent of American pet owners say they take equally good care of their own health and their pets.
Selected survey results:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. adults own a pet.
  • The majority of pet owners own a dog (61 percent).
  • Just over half of pet owners own a cat (54 percent).
  • Two out of five pet owners own a fish (20 percent).
  • 76 percent say the main reason they walk their dog is to give him exercise.
  • 64 percent say the main reason they walk their dog is to give themselves exercise.
  • 52 percent of dog owners have taken their pet with them exercising.
  • Nearly one in 10 pet owners (9 percent) has actually changed plans with a person in order to spend time with their pet.
  • 13 percent have gone to a specific vacation site because it was pet friendly.
  • Nearly one in 10 pet owners (9 percent) had a significant other express jealousy over their relationship with a pet.
  • 62 percent of pet owners have bragged about their pet.
  • 65 percent of pet owners have spoiled their pet.
  • A majority (67 percent) of pet owners have bought a present for their pet.
  • Nearly one in 10 pet owners (8 percent) has planned an event for their pet (e.g. birthday party).

Market research company Harris Interactive conducted the study on behalf of Hartz between March 28 and 30, 2006 among a nationwide sample of 2,748 U.S. adults ages 18 and over, of whom 1,729 own a pet(s) and 1,019 own a dog or dogs.

The online survey was not based on a probability sample, and therefore no theoretical sampling error was calculated.

Posted: May 3, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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Laurie   Wichita, KS

5/22/2010 2:51:51 PM

Walking is the best way for me and my dog to stay healthy. We walk about 4-5 times a week and she loves it.

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Cheryl   Conway, MO

12/3/2007 8:34:22 AM

Walking is the best and easiest way to stay healthy. I do it every day with my dog.

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