Friday, September 20, 2013

FitDog Friday- What to Look for in Pooch and Person Fitness Classes

How many times have you thought that you'd go to the gym more often, if you could bring along your dog? Or wished that there was a place where you and your dog could work out together?

Did you know that there actually are such places? Dog fitness, and dog and pet parent fitness is on the rise and becoming the newest trend. In my new book, The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance, there is even a section with step-by-step Woof Workouts for you and your dog, from K9 Fit Club.

Today, Tricia Montgomery, Founder of K9Fit Club, offers these tips in what to look for when seeking a fitness class for you and your dog:

1.Training and Credentials- Trainers should have experience and training in the services they are offering.
2. First Aid Training- It is also important that the fitness facility have qualified staff that has some experience in veterinary care. Always ask what their staff qualifications are, and make sure they have a veterinarian who can attend to emergencies or situations that might arise. (As with any aspect of your dog's health, you should consult with your veterinarian before you and your dog engage in a new fitness routine.)
3. Varied Programs- The program or facility should be able to tailor programs for not only a person’s needs but a dog's age, breed, weight range and additional health-related issues. Make sure the exercises and programs are fundamentally sound. 
4. Assessments and Evaluations- Does the program offer an assessment and an evaluation for the newbies? Are there special classes designed for the new participants to learn the basic fitness moves and obedience commands? Does the program require a veterinary standard or Healthy to Participate form?
5. Ratio of Instructors and Dog/Owner per Class- Safety for dog, owner, participants and instructors is a big concern for any class involving both dogs and people. To ensure a safe, effective and most of all FUN workout for all participants, evaluate the number of instructors per class, per the number of dog and owner teams. Can the staff designate and handle an aggressive or fearful dog? Are there enough instructors in the class to properly monitor the number of participants within the class?
6. Programs for Those with Disabilities- Is the program you and your pooch considering for the buff of the buff or the six-pack crowd? Is there an entrance for the seniors of disabled? Are their programs tailored for anyone? 
7. Emergency Preparedness- Make sure the program offered is up to date on certifications. Additionally, make sure they have an emergency plan to deal with whatever may happen. No one wants to think about, or plan for the worst. However, when it does occur, having plans in place can make the difference in any life or death situations.
8. Facility–  The facility should be clean, welcoming and designed with your both dog and person in mind. Evaluate how each dog and owner enters and is greeted. The area should be secure to prevent canine escapes, should a dog become off leash. The facility should maintain liability insurance.

 I hope you find a great fitness program for you and your dog and have fun working out together!

* K9 Fit Club is growing a Nationwide Community of Clubs dedicated to the Health, Fitness and Wellness of both dog and owner. Changing Lives One Dog at a Time. All K9 Fit Club trainers are Certified Personal Trainers and all trainers and dog wranglers are certified in positive dog training. K9 Fit Club offers a wide range of programs for both novice and advanced. Although K9 Fit Club is dedicated to health, fitness and wellness, they leave no one behind. they offer Sit and Be Fit and Waggin' Wheelchair for those with disabilities. Check out the list of K9 Fit Club locations to see if there is one near you!

 Today is FitDog Friday!
Special Prize Giveaway by Cloud Star
 This week we will be randomly selecting one of the commenters from the FitDog Friday blog hosts: SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love.  The selected commenter will receive a sample pack of dog treats courtesy of Cloud Star, makers of Dynamo Dog Functional Treats.  Make sure to share your FitDog Friday thoughts and you may win a great prize for your fit dog!

Join the blog hop! 

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  1. Oh that is really cool! Don't Sit! Made me BOL.

  2. Freckles...aka GooseSeptember 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    You know, they always say that you work out longer and are more happy when you do it with a buddy...and who's more of a buddy than your pup?! :-D We've always wanted to take Doga, hopefully soon! Great tips for finding the right instructor and class! Thanks Peggy!

  3. I love this idea! Hope we get to visit a K9 Fit Club soon!

  4. Great post Peggy - the idea of working out with your dog should be a great motivator for folks because it is fun!

  5. Tenacious Little TerrierSeptember 20, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    Interesting concept. Apparently Portland is getting a K9 Fit Club soon. I'll have to check it out.

  6. Mom says that she has joined a fitness club 5-6 times and never went back after a few weeks. Not sure if she would go if we could go too. We tend to prefer fitness we can do right outside out own door. For those that need the motivation it would be great for sure!

  7. When mom exercises on the floor, we jump on moms head
    Benny & Lily

  8. I'm trying to convince my Cross-Fit friend into integrating Dog's into her classes. I keep telling her that it's catching on over in the States. Not sure whether anyone's really tried it yet in Oz......Great advice on finding a decent class

  9. I'm at the gym a lot, but it would be fun to take my dogs if only to let them get some pets :)

  10. Jan K, Wag N Woof PetsSeptember 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I've never been big on going to fitness classes or clubs, I'm more of a do-it-yourself type exerciser. It might be different if I could take one of the dogs though. Of course, nothing like that where I live, but maybe someday! The K9 Fit Clubs really look great.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!