By Mike Powell
There are many exercise options that you can do with your dog, like running, swimming, or playing frisbee at the dog park. But unlike those, doga (dog yoga) offers exercise benefits without hyperactivity. Instead, it has a calming effect on both you and your pup.
Doga is more than just exercise. It helps you to relax after a long workday while spending quality time with your pup. Here are some of the benefits both you and your dog can experience if you include doga in your exercise routine.
You Can Motivate Each Other
We all know and understand the benefits of exercise. But there are days where it can be hard to find the motivation to get going. While online classes or running can add variety to your routine, there’s no denying that exercise can become boring.
Doga is not only going to benefit you, but your pup will love it too. Dogs love stretching! Once you see how much your dog enjoys it, you may find yourself doing it more often.
Doga can also help your dog to maintain its mobility, as well as shed some pounds, especially if they’ve been getting a few extra treats.
It Helps Promote Calm
Our lives have become fast-paced and deadline-driven, which often leaves one feeling stressed and tired at the end of the day.
Doga is a great way to unwind and clear the mind. Our pups are very sensitive to our stress and anxiety, as well as how it affects our moods. The deep breathing that comes along with doga and learning how to control your breath will help reduce stress levels and tension throughout the body.
Your pup will notice the difference in your stress levels. This will help your dog to relax as well. Sometimes, your pup may even fall asleep while you go through your doga poses!
It Can Be Solitary or Social
Both you and your pup can join a doga class where you’ll meet like-minded people (and pups). This will provide an opportunity for you both to make new friends, which could lead to other outdoor group activities.
Before you try a doga class, you may want to do some doga in the comfort of your own home to get the hang of it. Your pup will be curious at first, and this could end up with more face licks than yoga while you’re in the “downward-facing dog” pose.
Using your pup’s favorite treat as positive reinforcement while getting them used to different poses will be a great way to introduce them to doga.
Strengthens Your Bond
There are two types of doga. One where your dog is actively participating in each pose, and the other where dogs are invited to share the space but don’t take part in the poses.
Doing doga poses with your dog lets you and your pup work together, builds trust, and increases the bond between the two of you. It’s an hour or so of undivided attention, and your pup will love every moment of participating with their human and being in close contact.
Even if you end up at a class where your dog doesn’t take part in the poses, simply having them nearby could make them feel included and loved. Your dog’s presence can also make you feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar studio or group of people.
If yoga appeals to you as a way to find balance when stressed, or you’re already doing it but want to include your fur baby, then you can search for a doga class near you.
If you prefer to start in the comfort of your own home or there are no classes nearby, you can always search for doga videos online that you can follow along with your dog.
About the Author
Mike Powell is an enthusiastic dog-lover who enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion about pups, dog nutrition, accessories, and health over at Dog Embassy.