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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Does dog-ownership influence seasonal patterns of neighbourhood-based walking among adults? A longitudinal study

Parabhdeep Lail, Gavin R McCormack* and Melanie Rock

BMC Public Health 2011, 11:148  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-148

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Dog-walking and Non-Owners

Melanie Rock   (2011-12-04 20:43)  University of Calgary email

Thank you, Brian Perry, for posting your comments and suggestions. We did not ask non-owners whether they regularly walked a dog that does not live with them, and as you have pointed out, that is limitation of this study. In a recent literature review that may of interest to you, published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, we summarize the available evidence on this topic. This article is titled "Unleashing their potential: a critical realist scoping review of the influence of dogs on physical activity for dog-owners and non-owners," and it can be downloaded for free from: http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/8/1/46.

Competing interests

None declared

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Non-owner dog walkers

Brian Perry   (2011-11-15 13:58)  retired email

Thank you very much for your exellent article comparing the frequency of NRW of dog owners and non- dog owners. You should get down and kiss the dog friendly ground in Calgary. I'm trying to have our government (West Kelowna, BC) open more parks to dogs based on the conclusions such as those in your research.
If I might make a suggestion for future research: I attend very closely to dog walking behaviour in my neighbourhood, and I have observed that the dog takes the owner and the owner takes a friend or neighbour for the walk. I understand the serious research implications of changing your cohorts, but instead of having dog owners vs non-owners, could the chorts be changed to be 'dog accompanied' vs 'non-accompanied' walking? I believe that the results would show the health benefits of dog ownership extend beyond the owner. Thanks again.

Competing interests

None declared

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