Owning a dog beneficial for pregnant women

April 19, 2012 at 2:00 AM
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WALTHAM ON THE WOLDS, England, April 19 (UPI) -- Pregnant women who own dogs have increased physical activity and are more likely to meet guidelines for daily activity, researchers in Britain found.

The study from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, the science center behind Cesar Canine Cuisine, and the University of Liverpool found many benefits of dog ownership during pregnancy.

The research concluded that since pregnant women who own dogs are more physically active they were more likely to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.

"We are increasingly seeing that exercising with a dog can lead to improved motivation and effectiveness," Dr. Sandra McCune, research program manager at Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, said in a statement. "As a low-risk exercise, dog walking can help women, who may otherwise find it hard to meet their exercise targets, keep active and fit during pregnancy. Together with a balanced diet, it could therefore help towards ensuring a healthy pregnancy."

The study found pregnant women who own dogs are approximately 50 percent more likely to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of activity per day by going for a brisk walk.

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