Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in dogs and implications for the understanding of energy requirements in dogs

Ryan Morrison, Viki Penpraze, Ruth Greening, Tom Underwood, John Reilly, Philippa S Yam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


To increase physical activity (PA) levels in dogs and to better evaluate their energy requirements, there is a need to understand which factors or correlates are associated with PA and/or sedentary behaviour. Improving our understanding of these correlates also has implications for prescribed energy requirements in dogs. PA was measured using accelerometry in 62 dogs from two common breeds (Labrador retrievers and Cocker spaniels). Five potential correlates (age, sex, breed, neuter status, body condition score) were tested for associations with total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA, vigorous intensity PA and sedentary behaviour. Age and breed were associated with total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA and sedentary behaviour in the final models. Age was associated with vigorous intensity PA. The final models explained 60%, 40%, 63% and 44% of variance in total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA, vigorous intensity PA and sedentary behaviour, respectively. These results should improve understanding of the variation in energy requirements of dogs, as well as the development of age and breed-specific diets and the prevention and treatment of canine obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263–267
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
Early online date3 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • physical activity
  • canine energy requirement
  • dogs
  • obesity
  • accelerometry

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