A recent study has suggested that children who own dogs are more active than their counterparts without pets.
Conducted by St George's University of London, the research revealed that children with dogs spend an average of 325 minutes a day partaking of physical activity.
This is 11 minutes more than those without dogs.
The study looked at 2,065 children from inner-city primary school across England.
Tam Fry, board member of the National Obesity Forum and chair for the Child Growth Foundation, commented: "Children profit much more from walking dogs than adults do, because they let the dog take over - they keep it on the rein but if the dog wants to run away, children are very happy to run."
However, Mr Fry warned that things could swing in the opposite direction when it comes to obese families.
"The assumption is that if you have a lifestyle in which you basically overeat and are sedentary, there are real chances that your dogs will be denied the exercise they need," he said.
Independent advice on private healthcare