Do you have trouble getting your hound to calm down? Does your dog get anxious when left alone? Did you know that dog anxiety is often the number one reason for frantic barking sessions when pet parents leave their hounds at home? If this sounds like your hound, doggy yoga may be your answer! This new trend is growing in popularity and for good reason. Yoga can help dogs with various issues, including agitation, separation anxiety in dogs, and even obesity.
Let's take a peek at what doggy yoga is, the benefits of yoga for dogs, and how to do yoga with your pooch!
Benefits of Doggy Yoga
Doggy yoga is a unique form of exercise that combines traditional yoga poses with movements specifically designed for dogs. Dog yoga can help your pup burn off excess energy, engage their natural instincts, and build strength. It also helps promote mental clarity and emotional balance by teaching relaxation techniques to counteract anxiety. Practicing doggy yoga can help reduce stress levels in both you and your pet while strengthening the bond between you.
Physical Benefits of Hound Yoga
The physical benefits of doggy yoga include improved flexibility, muscle tone, coordination, and overall cardiovascular health. Doggy yoga can also help combat obesity in overweight pets by encouraging calorie burning through gentle stretching and movement. In addition, regular practice of dog-friendly poses will make for a more alert and active pup!
Doggie Yoga vs. Dog Anxiety
Doggy yoga can also help reduce dog anxiety and teach your pup to stay calm in stressful situations, such as being alone or encountering a new pet or person. Some say doggy yoga also encourages mindfulness, helping your dog focus on the present moment and be less reactive to potential stressors. Finally, practicing doggy yoga helps build trust between you and your hound, encouraging you to rely on each other throughout each pose.
Getting Started with Doggy Yoga
If you're interested in introducing doggy yoga into your pet's life, there are a few easy steps you can follow:
- Find a comfortable place where your pup won't be interrupted by outside noise or distractions (such as the postman!).
- Introduce treats or toys to encourage your pup to stay in the pose for longer periods and reward him/her when they complete the poses correctly.
- Keep sessions short at first – no more than 5 minutes – gradually increase the duration as your pup gets used to it.
Basic Doggie Yoga Poses to Get You Started
Sit on the floor, cross your legs and keep your back straight. Focus on inhaling and exhaling using long slow breaths. Eventually, your dog will become interested in your stillness and may sit on your lap or lie on the floor next to you. Watch as their breathing pattern starts to match yours!
Get your dog to sit up on their hind legs. First, kneel behind your hound and support them by holding the middle of their back. Next, help them to raise their front paws until they are seated on their hind legs with their front paws off the ground. This stretches their back, front legs, and abs and helps strengthen the joints in their back legs.
Encourage your hound to lay on their tummy, front paws and back legs extended. Then lightly stroke and massage the muscles in their back!
The Final Downward Dog
Doggy yoga is excellent for bonding with your hound while providing physical and mental health benefits. While it can reduce anxiety in dogs, strengthens muscles and joints, and improves coordination, it also helps build a trust-filled relationship between the two of you. If you're looking for an activity to share with your hound that is low-impact yet enjoyable for both of you, give doggy yoga a try!