Leeds dogs get the least exercise in the UK

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Research has found that dogs in Leeds are the most poorly-exercised in the UK.

The city ranked bottom in a list of 12 major cities for the percentage of dog owners who walk their pet for at least an hour and a half each day.

Only three per cent of owners ensure their dog is exercised for longer than the minimum recommended figure - compared to 45 per cent in Edinburgh.

The survey was carried out by the website BorrowMyDoggy, which matches owners with volunteer dog walkers who love spending time with animals.

But it wasn't all bad news for Leeds's canines - as the city's position in the charts is reversed when it comes to dog socialisation. Leeds came first out of the 12 cities,with 100 per cent of pooches interacting regularly with people other than their owners. Over half have contact with other families on more than five occasions per month.

The charity Dogs Trust recommends regular social contact with a range of people to ensure a dog is healthy and happy, and for preventing problems such as fear and aggression.

The site's founder Rikke Rosenlund said that a dog's social experiences were increasingly important to members.

"We find increasing volumes of members joining to ensure their dogs are well socialised. You would probably be surprised about the psychological benefits to your dog from actively trying to socialise them. As dog obesity rates continue to rise across the UK, exercise has never been more important to a dog’s health and well-being. Understandably, they are your best friend, but letting them spend time with other dogs or humans is vital to their well being and if they get more exercise, you’ll definitely have a healthier happier dog, who will love you even more.”