Of course, everybody knows what yoga is, right? It is a set of physical, spiritual, and mental disciplines with the goal mostly revolve around proper posture, breathing techniques, strength exercises, and relaxation or meditation.
But have you heard of “doga” or dog yoga? No, it’s not the dogs doing yoga all by themselves. It’s basically the same as your regular yoga, with the addition of your favorite pet.
The practice of yoga per se originated in India. On the other hand, puppy yoga has been gaining popularity nowadays, thanks to Suzi Teitelman, who is a yoga teacher from Jacksonville, Florida.
What makes it a worthwhile endeavor for your puppy to try? Listed below are some of the puppy yoga benefits.
Great Bonding Moment
Perhaps, the best part of it is that pet owners have the opportunity to spend quality time with their furry friends in a very relaxing or de-stressing way. Plus, it would be more in favor of the dogs as they can have your attention all by themselves.
This can also help develop or improve the trust that your dog has with you. With you assisting them in every pose and routine, dogs become more at ease knowing fully well that you are not going to hurt them in any way.
The health effects of yoga on humans have long been settled. However, doga has yet to be studied. For the time being, it is considered as a natural form of exercise that is expected to have a positive result on the dog’s overall physical health.
If you have a dog breed that isn’t too keen to run around and move actively unlike other dogs do, yoga can very much help stretch your pet’s muscles and joints. It can also help with blood circulation because, after all, it’s still a physical activity, which is still better than lazing around.
Socializing Your Dog
As mentioned, yoga for dogs has been great for pet owners and dogs to spend time together. At the same time, it’s both your chance to socialize with other dogs and pet parents. This is especially beneficial for those breeds that are tame but tend to be less friendly.
If your puppy isn’t into parks and playgrounds with plenty of people around, this is one perfect venue to meet with strangers, meaning humans and dogs. Slowly, canine members of the family will get used to mingling with them, which benefits their overall development.
A Form of Entertainment
Doga can be treated as a regular activity meant to entertain your pet just like giving it interactive toys to play with or more so, playing with you. Of course, you cannot expect dogs to fully cooperate, especially the first time.
It may even be chaotic at worst. However, once the dogs feel that they are really part of the activity and not just mere spectators, you will find them slowly warming up and getting used to the routine.
A Form of Relaxation
Yoga is as much an exercise as relaxation. It sounds odd but definitely true, and it is exactly the same in the case of your dog. If you have a hyperactive canine pet, this will be particularly beneficial to them as it can help them calm down and tone down their aggressiveness.
Even dogs with behavioral issues can benefit from this activity as it encourages dogs to be relaxed and be still on cue. However, the results may not be apparent instantly and may take several sessions, which can be true even with regular dog obedience training.
Feel If Something is Amiss
The same way that regular grooming of your pet is encouraged, yoga can also be a gentle way for owners to feel whether their pets have certain illnesses like arthritis and other joint problems. Being able to hold your dog’s entire body as you both make stretches and bends gives you the opportunity to tell if something is out of the ordinary like lumps and bumps.
It would also be likely for dogs to react or whimper if they suddenly feel pain or discomfort, which can warn you to investigate further.
Dog yoga may yet be another development in pet care in your constant quest for the best activities that you could provide your ‘babies.’ While the exact health benefits have not yet been thoroughly researched by experts, you could just hold on to the fact that it is fun, relaxing, and doesn’t cause any adverse effects.
So, when you hear about dog yoga classes being offered in your community, don’t hesitate to take the plunge. Who knows, it might be just what you and your pet need to strengthen your puppy-parent relationship.