Dog Owners More Motivated And Committed?
I run a few different Meetup groups and during the spring and fall seasons, we run hikes/walks each week both during the week as well as on weekends. We usually go on nice nature trails both in the local Mississauga area as well as further up north and west where some really nice conservation areas are.
We get nice turnouts at both weekday and weekend outings especially since the fall season weather is favourable for hikes right now as it’s not too hot nor cold and the ground conditions are dry for the most part. We cancel days when it’s too wet out there.
Our main general social Meetup group, GTA Free Spirits and our Mississauga GTA Small Dogs Outings group partner up for these outings as we have members from both groups usually coming out. For the weekend hikes, it use to be just for members of GTA Free Spirits but we decided to recently open these outings up to our small dogs group.
For our hike at Heart Lake, we had 22 people of which 7-8 came from out dog group. So one third of the attendance were dog owners who brought their small dogs out with them.
For our Etobicoke Creek hike, we had 8-9 dog owners out of the 16 people who came out. So in this case, about half of the group were dog owners.
Now here’s some more interesting numbers. GTA Free Spirits is the much larger Meetup group with over 1,100 members while the Small Dogs Outings group has only about 150 members. The small dogs group is able to generate one third to one half of the attendance for these two weekend outings with a membership of only 150. GTA Free Spirits has seven times the members as our dog group and therefore should be able to generate seven times the numbers in terms of attendance.
Our midweek walks are even more revealing. On average, we get about 6-8 dog parents coming out for each weekday walk with only 2-3 from GTA Free Spirits. So even with a significantly smaller membership at our dog group compared to our general social group, the dog owners out number the non-dog owners by a wide margin each midweek.
Added Motivation And Commitment With Dog Owners
Does this all suggest that dog owners, the responsible ones, are more motivated and committed to coming out?
The numbers would suggest that this is true. Perhaps as a responsible dog owner, we have more motivation and commitment to come out since our dogs are involved. We want to keep them physically healthy so bringing them out to these walks are great. But we also recognize that these outings also benefit our dogs’ well being too when they get to socialize with their doggie friends on a regular basis.
So for the dog owners, the health and social benefits are not just for us, the people, but also for our pets as well. This gives us the added motivation and commitment to come out in my opinion. For myself, this is definitely true as I am totally committed to keeping my two Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie as healthy as possible both physically and mentally. I would feel too guilty if I did not do everything possible to keep them healthy.
The non-dog owners at GTA Free Spirits maybe does not have this added motivation and commitment like the dog owners do and the attendance numbers at both the weekday and weekend hiking events, especially with the weekday ones, reflect this.
So maybe it’s time more members of GTA Free Spirits become dog owners!