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Pawgust Guide Dogs Research

guide dogs research

New Guide Dogs Research has found that just a quarter of Australians report walking their dogs at least once a day and, when they do get out, the vast majority of walks last less than 40 minutes – with weather and time emerging as the main reasons Aussies bow out on that quality time.

It’s not just our dogs that are suffering either. A quarter of dog owners feel guilty daily, and a similar proportion feel it weekly, while 3 in 5 pooch parents have worried about how getting back to work outside the home might impact their dogs.

The Guide Dogs Research also showed that two-thirds of people surveyed are noticing new problem behaviours they think might be a result of reduced time together, including barking, howling and destructive acts such as destroying furniture.

The Guide Dogs Research was conducted as part of PAWGUST, an initiative that sees Guide Dogs encouraging dog owners to commit to a 30-minute walk together every day in August. That’s roughly 2km a day and 60km in total.

By getting friends and family to sponsor their efforts, participants will also contribute to raising and training Guide Dogs, which cost more than $50,000 per dog to breed, raise and train but provides years of independence and companionship to someone with blindness or low vision.

A campaign to make a difference

This PAWGUST, Aussie dog owners can acknowledge the advantages of their four-legged friends by pledging to walk the walk for 30 minutes every day in August via www.PAWGUST.com.au. By getting friends and family to sponsor their efforts, they will also contribute to the $50,000 it takes to breed, raise and train a Guide Dog – a dog that will provide years of independence and companionship to someone with blindness or low vision.

Throughout August, the Petspiration Foundation (formally PETstock Assist) is on a mission to raise $200,000 for Guide Dogs Australia to help transform the lives of those living with low vision or blindness.
The Petspiration Foundation’s donation will support Guide Dogs Australia’s extensive range of services that help people living with low vision or blindness gain the freedom and independence to move safely and confidently around their communities.

You can support the cause by shopping in-store at PETStock during the month of August. By purchasing selected products, including Nexgard SPECTRA you can contribute to PETstock’s goal of raising $200,000 this August for Guide Dogs Australia.

How you can help
  • Round up your purchase online or in store
  • Donate to Petspiration Foundation online or via donation boxes in store nationally
  • Purchase specially marked products throughout August
  • Visit petstock.com.au during August to find out more about how to donate
  • Pound the pavement and participate in PAWGUST in August

 

Source: The Guide Dogs Research is based on a survey of 1,000 Australian dog owners, conducted via online survey method in June 2022.

Guide Dogs Research Key Findings

Dog walking

  • On average, Australian dog owners are walking their dogs 4.41 days a week.
  • Only 25.37% of Australian dogs are getting walked daily (or more than once a day).
  • Behind daily, the next most common frequency was 3 days a week (17.86%), followed by 4 days (15.22%) and 5 days (15.75%).
  • Of these dogs getting walked daily (or more than once a day), over half (51.25%) are walked for 30 – 40 minutes, and just over 2 in 5 (42.92%) are walked 1 – 2 kilometres.
    • 17% of dogs are walked for 30 – 40 minutes on average.
    • 99% of dogs are walked for 1 – 2 kilometres on average.
  • 48% of dog owners agree that walking their dog contributes positively to their mood.
    • Of daily dog walkers, 94.17% agree that walking their dog contributes positively to their mood.
  • 20% of dog owners said that weather contributed to not walking their dog more, while 45.70% of people cited a lack of time.

Returning to work

  • 49% of Australian dog owners returning to work said that they were worried about how this might emotionally impact their dog (this figure excludes people that are essential workers, unemployed or never stopped working from home).
  • 50% of Australian dog owners noticed behavioural issues as a result of returning to work and spending less time with their dog.
  • Of those Australian dog owners that had noticed behavioural issues that they think might be a result of reduced time with their dog:
    • Excessive barking or howling was the most common, with 44.59%.
    • Destructive behaviour (e.g., chewing / digging) – 34.31%.
    • Urinating and defecating in the home – 25.87%.
    • Pacing and restlessness – 21.83%.
    • Depression – 15.60%.

Feeling guilty

  • 20% of Australian dog owners reported feeling guilty on a weekly basis about leaving their dog(s) at home, not walking them enough or not paying enough attention to them.
  • About a quarter (24.20%) reported feeling guilty on a daily basis.
  • Only 11.40% reported not feeling guilty at all.

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