Cici, like most dogs, loves to run. Almost every day, she zooms around the park down the street or runs to me when she’s done rolling in the grass, sniffing everything and doing her business. I used to try to walk her an hour a day or make sure she got exercise by playing with other dogs. But since my legs/knees hurt from arthritis, it’s been hard for me to do that.
Just found out that there is a dog gym in town, Pacific Grove. It’s called the Zoom Room and they offer agility, play groups, therapy dog training, Canine Good Citizen classes, as well as social activities such as Dog Birthday Parties, a Bark Mitzvah, Yappy Hours and Doggy Disco plus eco-friendly toys and healthy dog food and treats. It’s open 11 to 8 during the week.
The Zoom Room says that this is an indoor alternative to the dog park. An indoor dog park where mean dogs are outlawed, no flaky owners are allowed to sit on their cell phones while their dogs wreak havoc, and all of the other complaints people have about dog parks.
Becoming a Zoom Room Member and enjoying Open Gym is as easy as scheduling a quick 15 minute evaluation. So if you’re not yet a member, you can either enroll in one of our group classes or simply come in for an evaluation.
I did not know that there was such a thing but apparently, the dog gym business is booming. The time has come for all good pooches to work out, swim, dog yoga and more. Since so many dogs (and cats) are obese (like their owners) in this country, putting a dog on a diet and exercise regime is just what the vet ordered. And studies show that working out with a friend increases the odds that you’ll stick with the program. Some human gyms have added doggie classes for pet and owner.
According to the Association of Canine Water Therapy, there are 25 registered dog gyms across the country.
Some gyms have pools, others just have dog agility equipment, treadmills and such.
What to Look For in an Exercise Facility
Whether it is a facility that is made only for exercise, or it is a dog day care that includes a daily schedule for exercise, make sure to ask for a tour of the facility before you make a commitment to use their services. Get a good look at the equipment, the yards, the kennels, and any other place your dog will be spending time. Make sure that the people running the facility are accredited for recognizing and treating emergencies in animals and that they are very familiar with the physiology of a dog. Also, make sure that they use positive reinforcement training.
You can also construct a doggie jungle gym for use in your backyard.
Before you start, take into account your dog’s endurance level, age and temperament. Older dogs, obese dogs, and young puppies should start slow and build endurance over time.
Your dog does the “downward facing dog” pose every day, also known as the play bow, with rear in the air and the front paws/arms are outstretched in front. Find a class near you or get a video, learn the poses and Ommmmm you go, inside or outside on a flat, grassy area in the back yard or park.
Dancing with the Paws
Dancing with dogs is a competitive sport but you can jazzercise with Fido at home. Just put on some loud music and rock n roll. Shake your booty.
A Bicycle Built for Fido
Biking is the way some people roll. My roommates both bike everywhere but so far have not been able to convince either of them to take Cici along for the ride. She loves to run and would enjoy the brisk pace of a bicycle ride. When she sees other neighbors bicycling, she just naturally wants to join in the fun. Or she’s barking at the motion of the wheels. Be careful if you bike that the dog’s leash does not get into the spokes. Take some safety precautions. You can outfit your bike to roll with your canine for safety. Start with short distances, in low-traffic, low-pedestrian areas. Talk to your dog, or sing, and advance, when ready to biking with your dog off-leash, running next to you.
When Cici and I went shopping and I was in the scooter cart, she LOVED LOVED LOVED scooting/running next to me the whole time. And I am a crazy bumper car type driver in those things. But she got very good, very fast, and learned how to avoid any collisions with me. Smart girl.
You could also have your dog take the lead and go skating with them ahead of you. Be careful !