Motivation to walk canine pets identified

If you’re having trouble motivating some of your clients to walk their canine pets, encouragement and motivation may be part of the equation, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and The University of Western Australia examined why some people feel motivated to walk their dogs regularly and others don’t, and concluded that demographic and behavioral factors contribute to owners being encouraged and motivated to walk their dogs.

The study was published in BMC Public Health on Sept. 29.

Data was collected from 629 dog owners participating in the RESIDE study, a 10-year study of 1,813 residents in Perth, Western Australia. The results of two survey outcomes, "Dog encouragement to walk" (how often dog encouraged me to go walking in last month) and "Dog motivation to walk" (having a dog makes me walk more), were analyzed to identify both positive and negative factors associated with them.

“We now know that owners feel more motivated to walk larger dogs, and if they believe that walking keeps the dog healthy. A strong relationship or attachment to the dog and reporting feeling that their dog enjoys walks is also motivating to owners,” said Carri Westgarth, BSc, MPH, PhD, one of the study authors.

“They are less motivated to take their dog out if they perceive that it is too old or sick, or if other family members usually walk the dog instead.”

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