A new craze is sweeping the UK, 'Doga' which is the name for yoga for dogs. First it spread through America and now UK dog owners are taking their pooches to doggy yoga classes. Doga even featured on an episode of Made in Chelsea where viewers watched London socialites indulge in a spot of yoga with their dogs.
What Exactly Is Doga?
Yoga for dogs is where you attend a yoga class with your dog. You help to manipulate them into various positions, and they also support your exercises. It's a bonding experience between you and your dog which involves meditation, stretching and gentle massage. You and your dog work together as one unit and can be completely calm and relaxed together.
Is dog yoga just another fad or does it actually have benefits for dogs and their owners? Lots of people feel that Doga is very beneficial for dogs, others voiced their concerns. Let's look at the potential benefits and also the disadvantages of Doga.
- Benefits Of Yoga For Dogs & Their Owners
- Relaxes both the dog and owner
- Helps with stress and anxiety
- Is a bonding experience for owners and their dogs
- Mimics some of the movement and stretching dogs do naturally
- Yoga focuses on connection and union with other beings
- A positive socialising experience for dogs with both humans and other dogs
- Dogs learn to be relaxed around other dogs
- Can improve circulation and range of motion
- The Dogs Trust have their concerns about Doga, "It is important to remember that dogs can't tell us when they have had enough. Doga, and any variation of it, should always be carried out under the watchful eye of trained professionals".
- Some Yoga professionals feel that Dog Yoga could potentially trivialise such an ancient practice.
- Some dogs do not like to be excessively handled and are uncomfortable when they are picked up. For some dogs Doga could stress them out rather than relax them.
- It really does depend on your dog, their temperament and physical health as to whether Doga is right for them.
- Some owners may be worried about their dog misbehaving during the class.
- Teachers should know about canine physiology and anatomy, as certain positions could be painful for dogs.