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Is how often you walk your dog a reflection of your love?

How often do you walk your dog each day?

A new report from Rover, the nation’s largest network of dog walkers and pet sitters, revealed that 63 percent of dog owners said how often you walk your dog is a reflection of how much you love them. But 38 percent reported that they walk Fido once or less per day.

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The findings come from Rover’s “Dog People Walking Report,” featuring self-reported dog-walking habits of 1,500 U.S. pet owners.

“As dogs become part of the family, pet parents spend more time and resources tending to their needs and feeling guilty when they don’t. Dog owners want ways to balance their busy lives with providing love and care for their dog,” Brandie Gonzales, Rover’s pet lifestyle expert, said. ”Pet parents know walks and exercise are important for their dog’s health and happiness. As a result, we’ve seen growing demand for technologies that enhance pet health, like activity trackers, and services like Rover that make it possible to find reliable dog walkers.”

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Ninety-four percent of respondents said they consider their dog a member of the family, and more than half of pet parents said they first greet their dog with a “hello” when entering their homes.

Though 70 percent of dog owners reported that their dogs are visibly happier after a walk, most still end up skipping a walk or two during the week. And two-thirds of them say the guilt for skipping out is “overwhelming.”

So how much exercise is sufficient?

According to PetMD, dogs should have between 30 minutes to two hours of activity each day.  Hunting, working or herding breeds such as Labrador retrievers, collies or shepherds may need 30 minutes of rigorous exercise plus 1-2 hours of daily activity. 

Leisurely walks, trips to the dog park or a games of catch make great exercise routines.

“Because most dogs are of mixed heritage, their needs will be different depending on the breed they are descended from,” PetMD says. It’s also important to pay attention to your dog’s signals, medical conditions and age. If you have any concerns or questions about the type and frequency of activity ideal for your pet, talk to your veterinarian. 

Learn more about America’s dog walking habits at rover.com.

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