Prevalence of dog walking and sociodemographic characteristics of dog walkers in the U. S.: an update from 2001

Am J Health Behav. 2015 Jul;39(4):500-6. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.4.6.


Objectives: To describe and estimate the prevalence of dog walking using a nationwide sample.

Methods: 2009 National Household Travel Survey data (N = 5100) were analyzed for: duration of dog walks, number of dog walks/day, total dog walking minutes/day.

Results: In a one-day period, 67% of dog walkers took at least one walk ≥ 10 minutes, 20% walked a dog for at least 30 minutes, and 28% took more than one dog walk. Older participants and participants with children were more likely to accumulate ≥ 30 minutes of dog walking in a one-day period.

Conclusions: A majority of dog walks occurred in bouts ≥ 10 minutes, suggesting dog walking is a legitimate form of health-enhancing physical activity which contributes to meeting physical activity guidelines.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Dogs*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult