A new survey by Guide Dogs Australia of 1,000 Australian dog owners found that 60 per cent of pooch parents have worried about how getting back to work outside the home might impact their dogs.
Now, two-thirds are noticing new behaviours they think might be a result of reduced time together, including barking, howling and destructive acts such as destroying furniture.
So Guide Dogs is encouraging owners to take up the call of Pawgust, an initiative to commit to a 30-minute walk with your beloved pooch every day this month.
Just a quarter of Australians report walking their dogs at least once a day and, when they do get out, the vast majority of walks last less than 40 minutes - with weather and time emerging as the main reasons Aussies bow out on that quality time.
The survey revealed around a quarter of dog owners feel guilty daily and similar numbers weekly about their lack of walkies.
The survey was carried out as part of Pawgust, which would see owners walking about 2km per day with their dogs, totalling around 60km for the month.
By getting friends and family to sponsor their efforts, participants will also contribute to raising and training Guide Dogs, which cost more than $50,000 per dog to breed, raise and train but provides years of independence and companionship to someone with blindness or low vision.
"Mid lockdown in 2020 we surveyed Australians and found over 80 per cent were relying on their dogs for emtional support," Guide Dogs mobility instructor Ryan Jones said.
"Now it's our dogs' turn to rely on their owners to get them through a time of significant change by making a walk an immovable part of their routine this August."
"At Guide Dogs we are always grateful to our dogs, and Pawgust is about encouraging Australians to get involved by getting outside and spending quality time with their four-legged friends, while raising money to help us raise and train more Guide Dogs at the same time," Mr Jones said.
This Pawgust, Aussie dog owners can acknowledge the advantages of their four-legged friends by pledging to walk the walk for 30 minutes every day in August via www.PAWGUST.com.au.
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