Dog owners are estimated to be four times more likely than their peers to meet recommended physical activity guidelines, according to a study that highlights the role that dogs may have in helping to keep humans healthy. It is recommended that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. Dog ownership is expected to encourage physical activity, but it has been unclear whether this effect occurs in all members of a dog-owning household, or whether dog walking replaces other forms of exercise. Dr Carri Westgarth from University of Liverpool in the UK assessed the self-reported physical activity of 385 households. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDog owners walk more frequently and for longer periods than non-dog owners, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Moreover, dog walking in this population is undertaken in addition to, and not instead of, other physical activities. The effects of dog ownership on physical activity levels in the UK reported in the present study are greater than those reported in previous studies of North American and Australian populations. The study suggests that these discrepancies may be due to social and climatic differences.