Yoga is one of the best exercises for both mental and physical well-being. It increases muscle strength, improves flexibility, and reduces anxiety. Now, if you add dogs to this equation, you get the whole package. Exercise + fun, the ultimate duo.
Dog yoga, a.k.a Doga, is a hybrid of the exercise of yoga and dogs. Its first appearance was in the United States, in the early 2000s. Doga is a mind-body practice that uses poses (asanas) for the benefit of both dogs and humans. This practice:
- Strengthens the bond between owners and pets: Practicing different poses with your dog will increase his trust in you and will help you create a deeper connection with each other.
- Helps dogs socialize: Practicing Doga with other dogs and people can help your pup feel less stressed when surrounded by strangers.
- Enhance human and dogs’ physical resistance: Apart from supplementing your dog with Max Strength Glucosamine, doing Yoga can help pets to improve their flexibility, build muscle, lose fat, and stretch
- Helps establish a pack mentality: Working together in a calm and unwind environment will help your dog recognize you as a member of his pack.
- Brings joy: Exercising while sharing time with your dog? I can’t think of anything better than that!
Besides, yoga helps relieve anxiety, worry, and stress, so it can have a great impact on your dog’s behavior. Even though dogs can’t actually do yoga poses, they can sense the calmness in the environment and it helps them relax and release anxiety.
You now might be thinking ‘how do I get my dog to do yoga?!’, and the answer is very simple.
Has it happened to you that you are lying on the ground and your dog joins you to do the exact same thing? That is how it works. Dogs tend to follow our moves and imitate us. In fact, if you think about it, you have probably already seen your dog doing the ‘onward dog’, right? It’s a natural dog movement.
If you are doing it at home, all you have to do is start your yoga class. Put on some relaxing music and make sure your dog is watching. Lie on the floor and let your dog join you. You can start slowly, doing some stretches and letting your dog peep into this new practice until he feels comfortable to join.
Naturally, dogs can’t do all Yoga poses, but they can benefit from the calmness Yoga provides. Reclining Bote pose, Triangle pose and Onward Dog, are some of the asanas your dog can do with you. But even if your dog just lies on the floor and rolls, that’s more than ok. Last but not least, respect and responsibility are key to practice Dog Yoga. If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable, he will let you know. Doga needs to be enjoyable for both parties, so never push him or force him to do something he is not comfortable with.