Man's best friend is keeping the nation healthy

Man's best friend is keeping the nation healthy

They're one of the family and know our every thought, but now a new study suggest that our canine companions might also be helping keep us fit and healthy.

With walkies a staple part of having a pooch, the research from Vitality insurers showed that over a third of dog owners exercise for at least half an hour a day, compared to just a fifth of all UK adults overall. The research also showed that dog walkers spend more money on getting fit and were more likely to go in for gym memberships, exercises classes and home exercise equipment.

In fact, for half of all dog owners, the main reason for walking their dog was to help their health as well as keeping their furry friend happy. And 37 per cent of those asked said that owning a pet has helped them improve their health overall.

When it comes to different breeds, Labrador owners are the fittest with nearly two thirds of lab lovers (64 per cent) saying they exercise more than 30 minutes a day thanks to their pup. Beagle owners, on the other hand, are among some of the least active.

Although Boxer owners didn't top the table for the healthiest dog owners, the research reveals they were the most likely to admit to exercising much more than they used to since owning their pet with 50 per cent saying their exercise regime had dramaticlaly changed since their new family member arrived.

Have a look to see where your pooch sits on the top dog table for getting owners exercising:

  1. Labrador- 64 per cent of UK owners exercise for more than 30 minutes a day
  2. Spaniel- 60 per cent
  3. Pug- 56 per cent
  4. Daschund- 50 per cent
  5. Golden Retriever- 50 per cent
  6. Bulldog- 47 per cent
  7. Border Terrier- 44 per cent
  8. Border Collie- 43 per cent
  9. Cross-breed- 42 per cent
  10. Beagle- 41 per cent
  11. Staffordshire Bull Terrier- 38 per cent
  12. Boxer- 31 per cent
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