The Best Dog Breeds For The Health Conscious Person

A recent study has found a correlation between increased physical activity and pet parents who own specific dog breeds, namely Boxers and Chihuahuas. A closer look into these breeds may reveal how they might encourage their owners to get up and exercise.

Elliptical Reviews conducted a study with over 1,000 participants, the results revealing that a high percentage of pet owners believe that their furry companions — whether they be cats or dogs — encourage increased physical activity. Based on the research results, 98 percent of dog owners feel their pets have led them to live active lifestyles while 61 percent of non-pet owners think that becoming a pet parent would encourage them to become more active.

The study also collected data on any potential correlation that may exist between physical activity and specific dog breeds. Researchers found that, among the participants, those who owned Boxers were the most active — getting an average of 232 minutes of physical activity per week. It may come as a surprise to some that Chihuahua owners came in second, with an average of 162 minutes of activity a week.

The results are entirely in line with the general description of each purebred breed. According to Hills Pets, the Boxer is a very energetic breed. They are classified as a working dog by the American Kennel Club, and as a guardian dog by the United Kennel Club. Due to their high energy level, Boxers require a lot of exercise as they may become destructive with too much pent-up energy.

Similar to Boxers, Chihuahuas are also very energetic and tend to become hyperactive, reported Pet Chi Dog. As a result, daily exercise is recommended for Chihuahua owners. There is, however, the potential to produce too much exercise for Chihuahuas. This could help to explain why there is such a difference between the physical activities of Boxer owners and Chihuahua parents as posited by the study results.

Pet lovers will notice that there is a significant difference between the physical activities of Boxer parents as compared to those who own Chihuahuas. At 232 minutes of physical activity a week, Boxer parents get an average of about 35 minutes of exercise a day. In comparison, pet parents that own Chihuahuas get an average of 20 to 25 minutes of exercise per day. Now, 10 minutes of additional exercise may not be much to some, but the extra time brings Boxer owners closer to the amount of physical activity that the Mayo Clinic recommends for the average human adult.

Overall, this study does positively indicate that owning a pet — specifically a dog — can encourage physical activity. It also inadvertently advises pet parents to think about the breed of the dog they are considering to adopt. Owning a dog is a responsibility — and exercise is a big part of being a pet parent.