We know our pooch pals make us happy, but how do we know they're happy? Seeing your owner walk through the door plus cuddles, belly rubs, doggy treats, and two walks in the park a day equals ultimate dog happiness, according to new research.
Even though exercise was found to be a key element in the formula for canine happiness, the study by M&S Bank found that four in 10 owners don't know how much exercise their pet needs. And more than one in 10 are failing to meet the recommended exercise requirements for their four-legged friends.
The study of 2,000 dog owners found some of the most common reasons for avoiding the recommended one walk a day were unpredictable weather, a lack of time, and being too tired.
The research comes as M&S Bank has announced new dog insurance customers will receive a PitPat activity monitor to support owners with the health and well-being of their dogs.
To develop the formula for canine happiness, M&S Bank enlisted the help of celebrity dog therapist, Nigel Reed.
Nigel notes there are four key elements required to make a dog happy, known as the "Pyramid of Dog Needs" he says: “These comprise a fine balance of physiological, safety, belonging, and esteem needs. Regular exercise is an overarching factor, as it is a vital component of canine happiness.”
“It’s great to see activities, such as walks in the park, cuddles, and belly rubs feature so prominently in the research into what owners believe makes a happy dog. These aspects fit within the ‘belonging’ and ‘esteem’ components of the canine happiness formula, as they contribute to mental and physical health."
“The key to a happy dog is finding and maintaining a balance across all four elements. Regular exercise is a fundamental aspect to a dog’s well-being.”
Border collie owners were revealed to be the most diligent with walking their dogs, with six in 10 declaring their dogs get more than enough outdoor time.
1. Seeing me walk through the door
3. Belly rubs
4. Doggy treats
5. Playing in the park
6. Two or more walks a day
7. Daily exercise
8. Playing ball games
9. Seeing the lead
10. Sleeping on our bed
11. Playing with cuddly toys
12. Exploring a new location on a walk
13. Meeting other dogs
14. Eating people's leftovers
15. Playing in water
16. Sat by my feet
17. Chasing squirrels/birds
19. Home-cooked treat meals, such as steak
21. Keeping cool
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