LONDON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The average British dog owner gets more of a workout walking his dog than someone with a gym membership, a pet healthcare expert said.
Research indicates dog owners exercise their pets twice daily for 24 minutes each time, totalling more than five hours a week, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. In addition, dog owners take Fido on three long walks a week, adding another two-plus hours to the total.
By comparison, pet-less people spend about an hour and 20 minutes exercising, whether in a gym or on their own, the British publication said.
A spokesperson for pet health expert Bob Martin said the difference seems to be a matter of perception -- going to a gym can seem like a chore while walking the dog could be considered fun.
"A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym," the spokesman said.
Martin's study of 5,000 people, including 3,000 dog owners, indicated 86 percent said they enjoyed walking their dogs daily, while 22 percent said it could be a chore.
By contrast, 16 percent of respondents said they enjoyed exercising in the gym while nearly 70 percent considered it a chore.
The survey showed 60 percent of pet owners said they always go for a walk with their dogs, even when pressed for time while 46 percent of gym-goers said they often find other things to do to get out of exercising.