This is how dog walking affects your brain

Vermes Nikolett

2024. June 29 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Soon, walking will be prescribed, which is made even more effective by the company of a dog. We have good news for dog owners: the brain functions of those who walk dogs are more developed!


Exercise causes blood vessels to dilate and stimulates metabolism, and according to the latest research, it also has a positive effect on the mind. But let’s look at exactly how daily dog walking supports mental health and how regular walking aids memory.

Dog walking can also be a shared activity

Dog Walking Improves Memory

Researchers at Dartmouth College specifically investigated the effects of daily walks on brain function. The project observed 113 people, including dog owners who walk frequently and those who walk less.

It turned out that participants who engaged in moderate-intensity exercise more often performed better on episodic memory tests.

In other words, conscientious dog walkers have better long-term memory. This improvement is attributed to the physiological functions activated during walking. A 20-minute walk speeds up blood metabolism, delivering more fresh blood to the brain, thereby enabling it to function more efficiently.

Dog Walking Has a Stress-Relieving Effect

A research group in Hanover also noted during their measurements that individuals who chose moderate-intensity exercise—such as dog walkers—had lower rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms. This is due to the stress-relieving effect of exercise. Any type of physical activity produces hormones and chemicals that have a positive impact on our mood and well-being. These include dopamine and endorphins, often referred to as the happiness hormones. Thus, dog owners who walk their pets for 20 minutes both in the morning and evening are likely to better handle mental stress at work or home.

Dog Walking During Vacation is a Great Opportunity for Exploration Dog Walking During Vacation is a Great Opportunity for Exploration Dog walking during vacation is a great opportunity for exploration

Dog Walking Will Be Prescribed

The research clearly shows that daily walks simultaneously improve memory and reduce the risk of developing depression. For this reason, Jeremy Manning, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of psychology and brain science at Dartmouth College, believes that the time will soon come when doctors will prescribe regular walking exercises to train memory and the mind.

Dog walking, for instance, should be done twice a day while paying attention to the pet. According to the brain researcher, our brains can develop the most when they can share focused attention. Every dog owner knows that it is impossible to start a walk without this. The effects of physical exercise on humans are closely mirrored in dogs. If a dog has the opportunity to satisfy its need for movement, it becomes calmer and more balanced. Walking also increases the dog’s blood metabolism, enabling it to remain alert for longer. Dog walking is beneficial for both the owner and the pet, so never skip it! There is no external excuse to cancel the twice-daily walks of at least 20 minutes each.

If your pet’s health is important to you, click here to find out how to take care of them during the summer heat.

dog walking Health mental health research

Related articles

More articles

Are cats your favourite too?
Visit our Love my catz page too!