If you’ve popped down to your local park recently, you’ve most likely bumped into at least a few pups taking their humans for a stroll, whilst stopping to sniff a few bottoms (the dogs, not you!). Dog walking, and dog-friendly parks, are a staple of life in the British Isles, which is no surprise considering that the UK is a nation of dog-lovers, with an estimated 8.5 million dog-owning household nationwide.
We wanted to dig a little deeper to discover what makes our dog-crazy brains tick. Juicy details such as how well behaved are dogs whilst out walking? Do dog owners pick up their pooch’s poo? We surveyed more than a thousand people nationwide and we’re now pleased to reveal the UK’s dog walking habits in a brand new infographic. Check it out – some of the results may surprise you!
What did we learn about the Nation’s dog walking habits?
Dog walking is a family affair
We discovered that the vast majority (75%) of dog owners tend to walk their dogs alone. If we do go out for walkies with other humans in tow, it’s usually our partner or close family members. When it comes to dog walking, we Brits prefer to share the experience with our family, which makes sense since many of us view our dogs as family members, too. But for the majority of us, perhaps getting outside to walk the dog is a chance for us to get some much-needed headspace?
Dog behaviour on walks
The majority of dog owners (79%) claim their pooch is well-behaved while out on walkies, but more than half admit their dogs pull on the lead, and almost two-thirds admit their dog chases wildlife. Whilst these might not seem like doggy cardinal sins at first glance, both behavioural traits suggest that not all doggies are always completely calm or obedient.
If your dog could do with some extra obedience training, check out our walking on the lead training guide, as well as Dogster’s advice to stopping that pulling habit. You may also want to review the type of lead and harness you’re using; we’ve got a guide for that, too.
Dog-friendly pubs (mid-walk pit stops!)
If you’ve been following DogBuddy’s blog for a while, you’ll know that we run an annual Dog-friendly Pub Awards (check out 2017’s winners here) to discover and celebrate the Nation’s best dog-friendly pubs. We weren’t all that surprised to learn that 2 out of 5 dog owners will alter their dog walking route to visit a nearby dog-friendly pub. After all, what could be better than a lovely stroll and a visit to a British pub for a refreshing pint?
Looking for the best dog-friendly pubs for a thirst quenching drink near you? Luckily, we’ve rounded up all the best pubs in the country, city by city, as voted by dog owners like you!
What do other park visitors really think about dogs and their owners?
Our survey highlighted an interesting topic where dog owners and other park visitors don’t always see eye to eye. One hundred percent of dog owners responding to our survey told us they cleaned up after their dogs had done number twos, which we’re sure goes to show that the DogBuddy community is the clean-up-after-your-dog type of owner. However, almost half of non-dog-owning survey respondents (49%) told us they disagreed that dog owners always clean up suggests that there are a few messy pups out there giving the rest of us a bad name…
Interestingly, dog owners also believe off-lead time to be very important for their dogs, and a whopping 83% of them said their dogs enjoyed a chance to run around off-lead.
What makes a walk truly dog-friendly?
No surprise, then, that when it comes to choosing a location for truly dog-friendly walk, 82% of dog owners prefer somewhere away from busy roads, whilst special dog activities weren’t seen as a particularly appealing feature – only 22% of dog owners said this would influence their decision. It seems that our Nation’s dogs are adept at entertaining themselves at the dog park. (Did anyone say fetch?!)
Other top dog-friendly features of a prime dog walking location include dedicated poo bins, litter-free paths and secure perimeters.
Is your dog eager for walkies but you’re busy with work? There’s no need to feel guilty! DogBuddy can help. Simply search using your postcode and you’ll find experienced dog walkers in your area who’d love to take your pooch for an extra run-around.
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