Cuddles, belly rubs, seeing their human, treats and two walks a day is the secret to keeping your dog happy.
That’s according to a study of 2,000 dog owners in the UK for National Dog Day.
I’d say seeing her humans, treats, walking, chasing her ball and sleeping in the bed would be Daisy’s top five things.
But worryingly, the research also found that one in ten fail to take their dog out for just ONE walk a day.
Excuses given included bad weather, a lack of time, and being too tired.
As the owner of a very active dog I find this astonishing.
Even at the age of 12, Daisy still enjoys four walks a day and lets me know when she’s ready for one.
Yet four in ten dog owners quizzed in the study by M&S Bank said they didn’t know how much exercise their pet needed.
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I’ve written about PitPat lots and Daisy was one of the first dogs to try the device back in 2015.
It’s a brilliant little gadget that fits on the collar and tracks your pet as they walk, run, play and rest.
You input their age, weight and breed and it recommends how much activity they need.
Daisy’s PitPat recommends that she has 45 minutes of walking a day, which can be split into three walks.
She normally has at least an hour.
Just like a human tracker, it works as a reminder of how important it is to keep active, whether on two legs or four.
Daisy’s activity report on her Pit Pat.
Daisy wearing her Pit Pat activity tracker.
While walking is key to keeping your dog happy, therapist Nigel Reed explains there is also the ‘Pyramid of Dog Needs’.
He says: “They’re a fine balance of physiological, safety, belonging and esteem needs.
“Regular exercise is a vital component of canine happiness.
“It’s great to see activities like walks in the park, cuddles and belly rubs feature so prominently in what owners believe makes a happy dog.
“These aspects fit within the ‘belonging’ and ‘esteem’ components of the canine happiness formula, contributing to mental and physical health.
“The key to a happy dog is finding and maintaining a balance across all four elements.”
More walkies isn’t just good news for our pets though, it helps us.
Online personal trainer Julia Buckley of Juliabuckleyfitness.com says she hopes seeing how their lack of activity could harm their pet’s health would motivate owners too.
She adds: “Some dogs are lazy, but in general, if most pooches had their way they’d be out running around all day every day.
“If PitPat tells you your dog needs more exercise, it’s most likely you who needs the kick up the butt to get moving more!”
Andrew Nowell, creator of PitPat adds: “Most dogs benefit enormously from daily aerobic exercise.
“So anything that makes them pant, like fetch, tug, and running, as well as at least one half-hour walk.
“But every dog is unique and will have different needs which is where using Pit Pat monitoring and data comes in.”