It’s time to slip on your boots and grab the lead because walking a dog is better at combating stress that strolling alone, a new study has found.
According to scientists at the University of Animal Health Technology in Tokyo, sharing a daily ramble with a pet reduces the chances of depression, stress and anxiety. We know that heading outside with your pup provides dogs with the opportunity to get regular physical activity, but it can also help boost the calming GABA chemical in your body, too.
Researchers in the team took saliva samples from 14 dog owners for a week to see whether it was better to walk alone or with a pet. The results, published in the journal Animals, revealed that levels of stress (including the stress-inducing MHPG chemical) were much lower when owners took their dogs on a walk. Meanwhile, the levels of the GABA chemical were also 40% higher.
This isn’t the first time dog walks have been praised for their mental and health benefits, either. In fact, a previous 2017 study found that humans get just as much as their pups from regular strolls.
Rather than social or physical health benefits, it was found the ability of the walk to make them happy was the biggest drive, while findings also discovered that owners were happier when they believed they were making their four-legged friend happier too.
Why not wrap up warm and enjoy a scenic dog walk…
Full journal article: Hormonal and Neurological Aspects of Dog Walking for Dog Owners and Pet Dogs