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Eight out of 10 dog owners sometimes take their pet out for a walk just to get some peace and quiet, a poll claims.

As well as exercising their dog, 73 per cent of those surveyed consider getting outdoors with their canine to be a vital de-stressing tool.

The vast majority of the 2,000 UK adults polled said it gives them valuable thinking time, and almost half said regular “me time” is the best aspect of walking their dog.

One in five reported making a major life decision while out with their pet, such as moving home or job, ending a relationship and deciding to try for a baby.

“Walking the dog is one of the most important jobs as an owner, but while it is primarily for the benefit of the dog, it can also be beneficial for dog owners too” said Gemma Cunningham, brand manager for the poll’s commissioner, YuMOVE.

“Getting away from everyday life for a bit while you go on a quiet stroll can give you some much needed time with man’s best friend to clear your head and enjoy some time to yourself – something many can struggle to get otherwise.

“Not only is it good for your own health and wellbeing, but you can be safe in the knowledge that your beloved pooch is also going to be better off for it.”

The poll suggested dog owners take an average of eight 30-minute walks a week with their pet, with two thirds crediting it with boosting their mood and mental health.

Rather than seeing it as a chore, 97 per cent of respondents said they enjoy walking their dogs, with more than a quarter feeling disappointed if they don’t get chance to go out as planned.

Others reported feel guilty, irritable and sad when they don’t get to enjoy their daily dog walk.

Gemma Cunningham added: “It is clear there are several kinds of dog walkers who find different purpose and meaning in their daily walks.

“Whether it is to spend more time together with the family, get more exercise or simply find some peace and quiet, the walk can bring a wide range of benefits.

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