New research has revealed that running with a canine companion is a great remedy for bad moods.

The research, from the University of Chichester, set out to examine whether runners had an enhanced physical and emotional experience when accompanied by their dog. Partnering with grain free pet food brand, Canagan, the study found that exercising with a dog can actually enhance this effect, leaving us with significantly greater feelings of stamina and most of all vigour, compared to going it alone. The mood data also showed that negative mood states, such as depression, anger and fatigue, decreased following all runs. What’s more, it’s possible to maintain the same exercise intensity when running with your dog as without, showing this activity is a feasible way to build exercise into both you and your dog’s routine, discounting perceptions that a dog’s need to stop intermittently would hinder your regime.

Study leader, Dr Sarah Edmunds, from the University of Chichester, explained: “Despite nearly a quarter of adults in the UK owning a dog, there has been very little research investigating the role dogs play in their owner’s motivation for exercise. This is the first study, that we are aware of, which has looked specifically at the impact of running with dogs on their owner’s exercise experience.

“Results show that our participants exercised at the same intensity both with and without their dog and they experienced a psychological benefit from running with their dog. Interview data found participants were autonomously motivated to run with their dogs.”

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