It was immediately apparent that people who owned dogs walked far more often than those without dogs, says Carri Westgarth, a lecturer in human-animal interaction at the University of Liverpool, who led the new study.

In general, according to both the questionnaires and activity monitors, most dog owners spent close to 300 minutes each week walking with their dogs, which was about 200 more minutes of walking per week than people without dogs.

Due primarily to these walks, most dog owners met or exceeded the standard guidelines for exercising for health, which call for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week.