Doggy yoga in lockdown

You and Fido tried other doggy activities, but the two of you just found it too exhausting, besides that fact that we can’t even leave our homes during lockdown. Now you want to try something more relaxed. Why don’t you try doggy yoga? Although doggy yoga is a somewhat new craze, it will most probably stay due to its health benefits. Ansi van der Walt, senior physiotherapist at Fitness for Pets, answers our questions about doggy yoga.

What is doggy yoga?

Doggy yoga is a fun dog exercise class where we help dogs build healthier bodies. The focus is on improving flexibility, balance and strength in a positive and safe way. Doggie yoga also emphasises calmness and focus.

How does doggy yoga work?

Doggie yoga classes start off with a guided massage session, during which the owner learns to identify potential problems in their dog through touch. This is followed by fun yet challenging exercises using a variety of equipment, including exercise balls and balance beams. At the end of the class, owners are guided through a stretching session for their dogs.

Who can partake in doggy yoga?

Literally any dog, any age and any physical condition can benefit from doggie yoga. The exercises are designed to be safe and low impact. Each dog progresses at his own pace, and the instructor helps every dog with exercises to suit specific difficulties they may be having.

How much training is needed for doggy yoga?

None! Each dog starts at his own level.

Are there any competition to take part in?

No. Doggie yoga is about celebrating each individual dog and their unique abilities. Competition creates a focus on what others are doing and achieving. Doggie yoga encourages dog owners to focus on their own dog’s unique abilities, and help each individual dog to progress in a way that is best for him.

How do I know if doggy yoga is for me and my dog?

Doggy yoga is for every dog. Maintaining body strength and flexibility helps your dog to age in a healthier way, reducing the symptoms of many age-related problems such as arthritis. Young dogs need to learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way, so that they are at less risk of developing injuries. Most dogs act before they think, so all dogs can benefit from better body awareness, balance and flexibility.

Where can people get more information?

You can go to our website, www.fitness4pets.com, for more information and to find a consultant who can help you.

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