NEW YORK (StudyFinds.org) – Been working like a dog lately? Turns out you should have been working out like a dog instead. According to a new poll of 2,000 dog owners, 45 percent believe their dog is in better shape than they are. Meanwhile, one in five (21%) believe the opposite – that they’re in better shape than their dog.

Whoever is in better shape, almost half the poll (44%) exercise with their dogs at least once a week on average.

Conducted on behalf of Orijen Amazing Grains by OnePoll, the survey also found that 70 percent believe outdoor activities are better when people do them with their four-legged friends.

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The many benefits of having a dog

Seven in 10 add they’ve become physically healthier since getting a dog, and 68 percent even hated exercising before getting their dog. Almost three-quarters of respondents (72%) agree that having a dog gives them a chance to explore their surrounding natural areas more than they would have otherwise.

One-fifth of respondents enjoy hiking with their dogs (19%), making it the second most popular outdoor activity behind trips to the beach (19%).

“The benefits of owning a dog extend beyond companionship,” says Shawn Booth, reality TV personality, fitness trainer and spokesperson for Orijen Amazing Grains, in a statement. “Doing things together benefits both your four-legged adventure buddy and you, and just as you take great care in keeping them active and feeding them right, they’re also taking great care of you. Dogs are active animals – working out together is mentally stimulating, builds trust and strengthens your bond.”

dogs exercise

The benefits don’t stop with exercise; almost seven in 10 also believe that paying attention to what their dog eats has led them to pay more attention to what they eat. Another six in 10 believe their own meals are more enjoyable when their dog eats at the same time.

Even still, 63 percent find it harder to figure out their dog’s nutrition needs compared to their own. One in three believe they and their dog are equal when it comes to who eats a more nutritionally balanced diet.

“Not only do I pay close attention to the foods I eat, I also make sure my dog, Walter, is eating a nutritionally balanced diet, too, with lots of animal protein and quality grains,” Booth says. “It’s important we both eat well, to support our active lifestyle, and ensure we’re healthy and ready to embark on all our outdoor adventures for years to come.”