Walking the Dog Has Psychological Benefits For Owners


It’s a well-known fact that dogs are great stress relievers for people. Their companionship and loyalty help people to feel good. Scientific research has long indicated that petting a dog can lower your heart rate and instigate a calming effect.  This is why so many dogs are employed in support roles; from dogs that visit elderly people in care homes, to dogs that assist in helping children cope with the effects of autism. Simply walking your dog, however, can have positive psychological benefits – Holidays4Dogs finds out more.

Motivation to exercise

Many people who own dogs are much more motivated to take exercise because they feel this is important for the family dog.

By focusing on the dog’s need to get out and about and exercise, people are more likely to make the effort to walk regularly – come rain, or shine.

“A dog is one of the remaining reasons

why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk”

Orlando Aloysius Battista.

For those people who suffer from depression, or other mental health problems, having a dog can certainly improve motivation to engage with the world and other people.

Increased physical activity

Dog ownership is associated with a significant increase in physical activity, compared to non-dog owners.  Research has also found a link between owning a dog and a much healthier circularity system.  Being healthier and taking more exercise, means dog owners may be seen as having a decreased risk of stroke, or heart disease. This is particularly notable amongst the older generation.

Physical activity releases feel-good hormones too. This process can relieve stress and anxiety, as well as create positive thoughts and boost energy levels.

The benefits of the great outdoors

Dog walking usually means owners have more opportunities to enjoy the countryside, parks and other recreational areas. This is true, even for urban settings in towns and cities, for example.

Studies have shown that when a person engages with the natural world, they gain a sense of well-being. This comes as a result of noticing the beauty of the surroundings and features in the environment – be it urban, or countryside.

The feeling of not being alone

Most dogs are enthusiastic walking companions and this creates the sense in the dog walker of not being alone. Having a companion to enjoy the great outdoors, makes walking much more enjoyable and satisfying.

Meeting new people

dog sitting, pet sittingDog walking is a great way to meet new people in the community – if only to chat to local neighbours, or fellow dog walkers, in the park.

Research has shown that dog owners tend to chat more with other people than non-dog walkers. Dogs are the perfect excuse for striking up a conversation with a stranger.

In fact, for people with social anxieties, owning a dog can be beneficial and make it easier to make new friends.


Dog walking seems to have the power to work wonders for a person’s mental health. Even if people walk their dogs primarily for the dog’s benefit, many find an upsurge in their happiness and well-being. Even if you don’t currently own a dog, you can still benefit from caring and walking other people’s dogs.dog sitting, pet sitting

Interested in becoming a carer for Holidays4Dogs? Follow the link to find out more.