What is Doglates?
If you haven’t heard, doglates is one of the latest trends in canine health. Think of it as a doggie version of Pilates, with exercises tweaked to make them more dog friendly. But don’t expect your pup to be doing the hundreds (a fundamental Pilates warm-up exercise) anytime soon. Instead, dogs use props to help them get the same benefits that humans do from Pilates.
Photo by Julia Zavalishina
If you and your dog feel like the usual excursion just isn’t cutting it anymore, or if you’re simply looking for a new and exciting form of exercise, doglates may be for you!
So, what exactly does doglates do?
Doglates is a less strenuous way to help dogs stretch and develop muscles, which can be great for relieving or preventing common issues like joint pain. However, it also has the added benefits of positive mental stimulation and engagement and relieving stress, which allows your dog to have a holistic form exercise. Doglates can also promote cognitive development, making things like potty training on pee pads or an indoor dog bathroom easier.
One of the most common exercises in doglates is to have the dog balance on an exercise ball. After you’ve found the right size ball for your dog, you would gently place their front paws on top of the ball. Once you let go, they’ll intuitively work to balance, helping them to develop strength and use their muscles to stay standing.
How do I get started?
Before you start, take stock of your dog’s health and abilities. Even if your dog is healthy, you’ll want to start slow so that you’re not pushing your pup. If you have any hesitations, be sure to check in with your vet. You’ll also want to make sure that they can follow commands well to get the most out of doglates. For example, your dog should know when to “stay” on an exercise ball so that they’ll actually engage their muscles in trying to balance.
Where you decide to do doglates depends on your fur baby. If your dog is likely to be distracted outdoors, then you’ll want to start in a familiar place like the living room. If you have a pup that is more motivated when they’re outdors, try taking your dog out for their exercises.