Does Fido need a walk? Research reveals millions of dog owners don't know how much exercise to give their pet

Millions of dog owners admit they don’t know how much exercise their four-legged friend needs, research has revealed.

A study of 2,000 dog owners by M&S Bank found that nearly half of dog owners exercise their pets without knowing whether they’re doing too much or too little, with one in ten failing to meet the recommended requirements.

Around a fifth of respondents believe their dog is overweight, and 48% think their pet pooch could do with more exercise.

Diligent – border collie owners are apparently the most diligent when it comes to walking their dogs (Pictures: Rex)

According to the study, border collie owners are the most diligent when it comes to walking their dogs, with six in 10 saying their dogs get more than enough outdoor time.

The most common reasons for avoiding at least one walk a day are unpredictable weather, lack of time and being too tired.

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M&S spokesman Paul Stokes said: “We’re renowned for being a nation of dog lovers who all want the best for our pets, but our research found that we’re often not giving our dogs enough exercise.

“It’s really important that we know how much exercise our dog needs and the difference it can make to both their physical and mental well-being. That’s why we want to encourage the nation’s dog owners to get out and about with their dogs as much as possible, helping to ensure they stay fit and healthy.”

Picture-perfect pooches – other research revealed that two thirds of dog owners prefer to photograph their dog than friends, family and kids

M&S Bank, which released the research to coincide with National Dog Day on Saturday (August 26th), also announced all new dog insurance customers will receive a PitPat activity monitor, to support owners with the health and well-being of their dogs.

Mr Stokes added: “We hope that, by giving new customers a PitPat – an easy-to-use activity monitoring device, we can help them do this.

”We’ve also created an easy-to-understand equation to illustrate the needs of our four-legged friends.”

Meanwhile, other research revealed that dogs are taking social media by storm, with a poll by online dog sitting platform DogBuddy.com revealed that one in 10 dogs have their own social media account, with Instagram (69%) being the preferred channel.

The poll also revealed two thirds (66%) of dog owners prefer to photograph their pooch than friends, family and kids and a quarter (25%) will spend more than £100 a month on their four-legged friend – over £14,000 over a dog’s lifetime!