Walking Your Dog 'Better Than Gym Membership' Survey finds pooch owners get longer workouts By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 3, 2009 4:44 AM CST 6 comments Comments 47% of people who had neither a dog or a gym membership got no exercise at all, according to the survey. (Shutter Stock) (Newser) – Scrapping your gym membership in favor of Fido will make you healthier and happier, according to a British study. The research—sponsored by a pet care company—found that dog owners spent an average of around 8 hours a week getting some exercise while walking their pets, while petless gym members logged just 1 hour and 20 minutes of exercise, the Los Angeles Times reports. "A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym," a spokesman for the pet care firm told the Daily Mail. The study also found that 86% of dog owners looked forward to taking their pets out for a walk, while just 16% of gym-goers said they actually enjoyed the exercise .