Ruff news for man’s best friend

July 31, 2018
Flash, an 18-week-old yellow Labrador puppy with a milky white chest, sits in a garden bed with his head tilted. Behind him is a street and row of shops busy with people

South Australia is a state of self-confessed dog lovers but new research from Guide Dogs Australia suggests SA dog owners are putting their four-legged friends’ health and happiness at risk by not walking them as frequently as they should.

In a survey of 1000 Australian dog owners, 33 per cent of South Australian dog owners admitted to only walking their pups 0-1 times per week – the worst in the nation – while 10% of those living within 5 km of the CBD admit they don’t walk their dogs at all.

Australia wide, 1 in 10 pet dogs are not being walked at all and one-quarter of Australian dog owners say they only hit the pavement with their dogs once a week, if at all.  With an estimated 4.7 million pet dogs in Australia, the findings suggest that 3.15 million are not being walked daily.

The new research coincides with the launch of our national initiative, PAWGUST, which is challenging all dog owners to walk their dog for at least 30 minutes, every day, for 30 days this August.

Guide Dogs SA/NT is calling on South Australians to walk their dogs daily this PAWGUST

Upon learning about South Australia’s alarming dog walking habits, Guide Dogs SA/NT Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Chia, said, “There’s no doubt South Australians love their dogs but this research confirms that we owe them more regular exercise. Daily walks improve the wellbeing of pets as well as people. By getting active for a fantastic cause like PAWGUST, South Australians can make the health of their dogs a daily priority, while developing their own exercise habits and raising funds for their community.

“Guide Dogs SA/NT plays an essential role in enabling people with vision impairment to be independent and active participants in their community. Our orientation and mobility services, including Guide Dogs, are crucial to this endeavour but our dogs offer more than the ability to travel safely – they are a source of constant support and companionship.

“It costs in excess of $35,000 to raise and train a Guide Dog or Autism Assistance Dog, so we’d love the support of South Australians to ensure we can continue providing the highest quality services for people in our community living with vision loss or blindness, or children with Autism.

“The precursor to PAWGUST was our South Australian event ‘Lead the way May’ in 2017. PAWGUST follows a similar principle, however it has been rebranded and escalated on a national level this year. At Guide Dogs SA/NT, we are proud to have pioneered this wonderful initiative to support Guide Dogs on a national scale,” Mr Chia went on to say.

This PAWGUST, Australians can pledge to walk their best mate for 30 minutes a day for 30 days and ask their friends and family to sponsor them to raise vital funds for Guide Dogs SA/NT. Join the pack at


Registrations are open for PAWGUST 2022!