It’s no secret that the UK is a country of dog lovers – in fact, 1 in 5 people in the UK own a dog (1 in 4 in Wales and Northern Ireland). But busy lifestyles and other factors often prevent dog owners spending as much time as they would like to with their furry friends. We went about finding out why, and what could be done to help!


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Owning a dog is a big commitment – you need to find the time to walk them. And it’s this that came out as the top challenge to owning a dog in our recent survey. 35% of people said that finding time for outdoor activities is difficult followed by 25% stating health care was a consideration, as well as the costs (23%) associated with having a dog.

As all you dog owners out there will know, the physical exercise that comes with having a dog is a huge bonus and often one of the biggest bonuses of having a dog. Making time to get out in the fresh air, doing gentle exercise, is good for dog and owner alike. However, it’s not just lack of time that seems to get in the way of enjoying the great outdoors with your pooch…

IS IT nice enough
for a walk today?

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Time, as we know, is the biggest obstacle in getting out with your dog (51%), but weather conditions (21%) also play a big part too. It’s understandable, we have such fluctuating conditions in the UK – too cold, too hot, too wet, too windy.

Braving the weather in the colder months in the UK is a bit of a challenge, however it is important that dogs are active all year-round which unfortunately is not the case for two thirds of the UK dog population, our study finds.

I’m happy to go out
whatever the weather

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Two thirds of the UK dog population aren’t active all year round. Lack of energy (17%) is blamed as well as temperatures. When it gets colder, 43% of UK dog owners say they rely on dogs’ coats/boots and drying them off after the walk (35%) to keep them warm. However, 1 in 4 owners go on walks as normal making no change to their routine.

Our study showed that 1 in 3 dog owners keep their dogs more active in summer and 1 in 4 say that activities depend on weather conditions. Whatever the weather, and no matter how pushed for time you are, you should always ensure your pet gets enough exercise. We have consulted an animal welfare charity Blue Cross about keeping dogs active throughout the year. Their advice: “It is important to ensure that your dog gets a walk in all weathers, but only if it is safe for you to go out. If you aren't able to head outdoors on dark and cold evenings, make sure your dog feels exercised and is mentally stimulated through games inside the home.” says Alison Thomas, Clinical Compliance Manager at Blue Cross pet charity.

Long walks and runs in the park top the list of favourite activities, followed by playing games (27%) while almost a quarter of UK dog owners prefer staying in with their dogs. “In colder months, short-coated breeds, like greyhounds, Dobermans and Staffordshire bull terriers struggle the most to cope with the cold. So make sure your dog has some winter clothes, like a cosy doggy jumper or coat, for when they go outside. Where grit or salt spreading has taken place in icy weather, it is important to give your dog’s paws a wash when you get home. It is possible for your dog to become ill as a result of taking in a lot of salt when licking their paws,” suggests Alison from Blue Cross.

across the uk

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It seems that where you live in the UK has an impact on your attitudes to owning a dog. Wales and Northern Ireland have the highest number of dog owners (1 in 4 people). The Northern Irish see weather conditions (53%) as the biggest obstacle to getting out with their dogs. Dog owners in Scotland find the emotional attachment the most challenging thing about having a dog but for 48% of the Welsh, it’s their dog’s health.

The study by Lands’ End also discovered that less than half of UK dog owners describe themselves as active, while almost two thirds would like to increase their activity levels which represents a significant sign that people should be encouraged to be more active in colder months. According to the study, the key to better activity levels seems to lie in having the right walking attire as that makes 50% of dog owners more likely to keep their pooches active despite weather conditions.

Lands’ End have a fantastic range of coats and jackets, perfect for dog walking. With weatherproof jackets and coats on sale, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But what about our furry friends? Well, there are dog coats for them too! Waterproof (and with reflective strips for added safety on some styles), you can rest assured they are safe and warm.

* The study surveyed over 800 dog owners.


Share a photo of your dog enjoying a walk on Instagram or Twitter, and you could be in with a chance of winning some GREAT PRIZES! Add the hashtag #LEwalkies and tag @landsenduk to be entered into the COMPETITION to win Squall coats for you and your dog! (Details below).

1st prize: 1)A squall coat of your choice plus a dog tote with a name or intials of your choice plus dog lead and throw with name on.
2nd prize: 2) Lands’ End vouchers and blanket with embroidered name x 3
3rd prize: 3) 3 x tote bags with names

Competition closes: 1st April 2019

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