Publication Details

Degeling, C., Burton, L. & McCormack, G. R. (2012). An investigation of the association between socio-demographic factors, dog-exercise requirements, and the amount of walking dogs receive. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 76 (3), 235-240.


Risk factors associated with canine obesity include the amount of walking a dog receives. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between canine exercise requirements, socio-demographic factors, and dog-walking behaviors in winter in Calgary. Dog owners, from a cross-sectional study which included a random sample of adults, were asked their household income, domicile type, gender, age, education level, number and breed(s) of dog(s) owned, and frequency and time spent dog-walking in a usual week. Canine exercise requirements were found to be significantly (P < 0.05) positively associated with the minutes pet dogs were walked, as was the owner being a female. Moreover, dog walking frequency, but not minutes of dog walking, was significantly associated with residing in attached housing (i.e., apartments). Different types of dogs have different exercise requirements to maintain optimal health. Understanding the role of socio-demographic factors and dog-related characteristics such as exercise requirements on dog-walking behaviors is essential for helping veterinarians and owners develop effective strategies to prevent and manage canine obesity. Furthermore, encouraging regular dog-walking has the potential to improve the health of pet dogs, and that of their owners.