Cute white labrador looking into the camera with smile face

Owning a dog and going on regular dog walks both have proven health benefits. But a small new study suggests that no matter how many times you hear that pounding the pavement with your pup is good exercise, that’s ultimately not what gets you (and your four-legged friend) up and moving.
According to research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, dog owners are motivated to walk their pets because it makes them happy —not for health or social reasons. Also up there on the list of reasons? They think it makes their dogs happy, too.
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The study analyzed interviews and personal written reflections from 26 people about why, exactly, they walk their dogs. While many owners said they do it to benefit their pooch, the researchers say the importance of the owners’ happiness and well-being was also …