A woman practices yoga while her puppy sits alongside her

Puppy Yoga and Dog Yoga: Differences and Similarities


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Everything in life is better with dogs. Even yoga. That’s one big reason why puppy yoga is fast becoming a thing. As is dog yoga AKA doga. Not only can it be an opportunity to get your workout on but you can get your cuteness and cuddles too.

In this article PD Insurance answers what puppy yoga is and how it’s different to dog yoga. We also share some tips on avoiding unethical puppy yoga. After all, what’s good for the puppy is good for the people.

What is puppy yoga?

What is puppy yoga you ask? Just like it sounds, it’s the practice of going to a yoga class filled with puppies. They don’t really have to do anything, they’re just there. As you can imagine, this makes for an adorable atmosphere, with your yoga poses punctuated by the occasional snuggle with a cute fur baby.

Not sure what this looks like? Check this video out to get a sense:

Puppy yoga vs dog yoga

Puppy yoga isn’t the same thing as dog yoga. In puppy yoga the puppies do their own thing while you strike a (yoga) pose. They just mill around and get the occasional cuddle or give the occasional lick.

On the other hand, dog yoga (often dubbed ‘doga’) is doing yoga with your pet dog and getting them involved however much they’re comfy doing so. This might involve stretching them out, giving them a massage and even possibly teaching them to do a yoga pose!

You don’t need a class for dog yoga as it’s about relaxing and exercising at home with your own dog.

Importantly – dogs should never be forced to do dog yoga; it’s about following their mood and behaviour and letting them wander off if they want to. View this video that gives some examples of how to teach your dog to do yoga.

Some dogs take dog yoga pretty seriously – watch this short to get a glimpse:

What is the point of puppy yoga?

There are plenty of mental and physical health benefits to spending time with dogs. Puppies in particular have a huge amount of love to give so just being the recipient of that in a nurturing atmosphere could help you relax and unwind.

Read more about pets and mental health and the physical benefits of having a dog or cat.

For many people, the idea of going to yoga is nice, but the idea of doing it with puppies is even nicer. As you can imagine, they make people less self-aware and more focussed on the playful openness of puppies that naturally rubs off onto us.

But there’s also another potential benefit for the puppies themselves…

a woman practices yoga with her dog alongside her

Where do the puppies come from?

The answer to where the puppies come from for puppy yoga is twofold:

  1. Animal rescues. Sometimes a yoga class will have an animal rescue supply puppies. The benefit to the puppies here is that they need to find their furever home. Essentially puppy yoga can provide an opportunity for people to spend time with and also potentially connect with a puppy. The ideal outcome is a happy yoga class where a puppy is adopted and finds that snuggly spot in someone’s heart.
  2. Ethical dog breeders. Another source of the puppies for yoga is from ethical dog breeders. There’s a benefit to the puppies here too. Puppies that get to be around lots of people in calm environments can become well socialised.

However just as there are oodles of benefits to be gained from puppy yoga, there are some things to watch out for as well.

Is yoga with puppies ethical?

Like pet shops and breeders, some are ethical and do what’s best for the animal while others aren’t. The key difference is generally motive. Anyone working with animals purely for financial gain won’t have their best interests at heart.

However, many yoga classes are run by people that understand dog needs. They might even be people that are not only yoga teachers but also dog trainers. For instance, the American Kennel Club (AKG) Canine Good Citizen evaluator, Kristin Tarnowski is both a certified professional dog trainer and runs a puppy yoga class.

She tells AKG “I have seen such a difference in my puppies” because they gain “confidence, trainability, ability to be calm” and more. There you have it from the horses…ahem, trainer’s mouth.

Side note: If you’re ready to buy a puppy rather than adopt one from a shelter, be sure you know how to find an ethical dog breeder.

a woman does dog yoga with her pug

Give your (downward) dog a soft landing

If you end up adopting a puppy at your yoga class then, who knows, maybe they’ll turn out to be a natural dog yoga yogi? Regardless, as a proud dog mum or dad, give your fur baby a soft landing with a pet plan.

Dog insurance can do remarkable things for your pocket, puppy and peace of mind. If ever your pooch gets into a pickle your plan can help you pay for a broad range of medical expenses. This includes treatment for accidents, illness and dental – depending on the level of cover you choose.

You won’t have to be on tenterhooks with award winning cover from PD Insurance. Plus you’ll also be eligible to get one or more months of pet insurance FREE when you buy a pawlicy online. Click below to get started.

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