Dogs Help Kids to be More Active

Grab the dog and get outside to play as the evidence is in, having a dog in the family makes kids more active.

New research published by Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute found dog ownership has a positive impact on kids’ physical activity, and the benefits are evident from early childhood. And if a new dog comes into the family, you’ll see a big jump in the kids’ physical activity.

The study found that kids’ exercise increased by almost an hour a day with a dog. And unstructured activities, like playing in the backyard, or going to the park, or walking increased by more than seven times a week.

This is positive news for the kids, our pets, and families. Healthy movement behaviours in children reduces their short- and long-term risk of chronic disease. Today, kids and adolescents fall staggeringly short on recommended daily levels for physical activity.

Let’s get our pets and get outdoors to play this National Pet Day (11 April, 2024).