There’s no doubt that owning a pet can improve your body, mind and soul. After all, a survey conducted by HIF in 2015 showed that their members who own a pet felt an overwhelming sense of love and responsibility for their furry, hairy and feathered friends.

Out of the 70% of their members who owned a pet:

  • 99% considered their pet to be an important part of the family
  • 99% said owning a pet made them feel happier
  • 85% felt physically healthier as a result of owning a pet

So how can our dogs have a positive impact on our health and lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with dog ownership. Around my great state of WA there are numerous parks, bush treks and dog beaches that we can use to get ourselves motivated while enjoying the open space walking or jogging with our dogs.

A physical benefit of being a dog lover is movement. Most dogs need some sort of regular walk or exercise, and as owners we are responsible to get up, get out and either walk or jog with our dogs, burning more calories in the meantime over different terrain.

The more difficult the landscape, the harder we work; beach, hills and bush treks all have different undulating surfaces therefore we are incorporating different muscle groups such as calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes. Not forgetting the positive impact this has on our cardiovascular system, ultimately leading us towards a healthier lifestyle.

Pet ownership not only rewards us physically but also mentally. The mental side of the pet/owner relationship is massive not only for adults but also children. The bond between person and animal in a family or individual environment is, to a certain degree, like having another small child of the furry kind around.

As pet owners we tend to have (or develop) qualities that come with the responsibility of being a pet lover. For example: companionship, love, trust, loyalty, a caring nature, happiness, emotional well-being, leadership and responsibility.

I definitely believe that pet ownership leads to an improved and healthier lifestyle giving us greater physical and mental-emotional well-being, combined with the confidence and strength we gain from the incidental exercises attributed to dog ownership.

Next time your out and about with your dog why not try my quick workout to up the ante when it comes to your exercise routine with your dog!


About the Author:  Matt Fuller is HIF’s Fitness Blogger and owner of Fuller Fitness, a boutique training studio based in Subiaco, WA, and has become one of Perth’s leading health and fitness experts.