On The Air - K9 Fit Club

January 14, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 10.27.18 AM

(CNN)Dogs make the best workout buddies. They never complain about hills, or cancel on you last-minute. And they’re always stoked to follow you out the door. That energy can be contagious: research from Michigan State University found that canine owners were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than folks who didn’t have a dog. Even if you’re just taking your pup for a walk, that counts. (Move at a brisk clip and you can burn as many as 170 calories in half an hour.) But there are lots of other activities you and Fido can do together — all while strengthening your bond.

Check out these fun ways to get fit with your furry pal….


Read Full Release on CNN!

January 14, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 10.18.07 AM

Plan on getting in shape in 2016? You may want to get a dog.

Dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, compared to their dog less counterparts logging only 168 minutes.

Pets need the exercise too. An estimated 52.6% of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese. Now a new gym is helping get dogs, and their owners in shape.

K9 Fit Club shows pet owners ways to workout with their furry family members.

The founder of K9 Fit Club, Tricia Montgomery, joined ABC7 to give a few tips for keeping your pooch healthy.

Read Full Release on ABC Chicago!

August 27, 2014

The sun was barely up but the people at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in Anaheim were raring to go.

One early morning boot camp class jumped, slammed and sprinted to the finish. It was just one of 360 sessions featured, where 12,000 health professionals came to get the 4-1-1 on fitness trends.

“Our whole mission is on Monday morning for the instructor or the personal trainer to be able to go back to their club or go back to their client and use immediately what they’ve just learned over the weekend,” said Kathie Davis, Executive Director of IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

Fitness pros and other health experts came from 64 countries. Among them: Jamila Alansari, who took a 19-hour flight from Dubai to attend.

“It’s a very, very nice experience and I love it,” said Alansari.

The convention featured seemingly every type of workout possible, including one for man’s best friend.

“As we as a nation get more obese,our dogs get more obese beside us,” said Tricia Montgomery of the K9 Fit Club.

Her company provides about 300 exercises so you and your best friend can work out correctly.

TRX suspension training and indoor cycling are still in fashion, but innovations such asLebert bars and others, give trainers tools and techniques to be able to mix things up.

An example? Olympic Gold Medalist Charles Austin created the Total Body Board.

“I injured my knee back in 1990 and to take a lot of pressure of my joints and tendons so I can still get a pretty decent workout, I spent a lot time on the slide board,” said Austin.

Keeping baby boomers happy — a vital theme for this industry.

“It’s easy to get the 20 year olds into fitness. It’s not easy to get the above 50 generation to embrace. It so it has to be softer and gentler,” said Davis.

An exception, swim champ Diana Nyad, whose record setting Cuba-to-Florida swim at age 64 primed all of us for bigger adventures.

“But you know what I’m going to do next Lori? I’m going to walk across America in the summer of 2016,” Nyad said.

“And were going to get a million people to walk with us, including you,” she challenged. So I better get busy.


August 16, 2014

Dog trainer Kevin Gilliam recently opened Frolick Dogs, a 5,000 sq. ft. dog gym in Alexandria, Va. The new facility has everything from doggie tread mills to a regulation agility course.

Source: Frolick Dogs
Dog trainer Kevin Gilliam recently opened Frolick Dogs, a 5,000 sq. ft. dog gym in Alexandria, Va. The new facility has everything from doggie tread mills to a regulation agility course.

A walk around the block is nice. Playing fetch at a nearby park is even better, when you can find the time. But is that really enough to keep your best friend physically fit?

Maybe your dog needs to join a gym for a more structured and intense exercise program.

“It’s just a neat idea,” says Bob Thompson who works out with his dog, Ginger, twice a week at K9 Fit Club in Chicago. “She’s getting obedience training and a real workout.”

Thompson says Ginger, an eight year-old Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, is always excited to go to the gym. And he’s sure the hour-long sessions are much better exercise than she’d ever get on a walk.

Read MoreHi-rises woo pet lovers with dog spas, rooftop walks

“She’s toned up and lost a few pounds over the last two years,” he says.

The exercise classes at the club are designed to give both dogs and their owners a cardio workout and strength training.

“You have to do it together, so you strengthen the human-animal bond,” says Tricia Montgomery, K9 Fit Club’s founder and president. “We as the pet owner must be the one to get our dogs motivated and moving by working out with them.”

K9 Fit has eight gyms across the country. It recently started an online certification program for people who want to become human-canine fitness trainers. About 200 have passed the course so far.

Know your options

Dog gyms range from small family-owned businesses to franchise operations with all the latest equipment and places to groom your dog. The quality of the staff and the courses offered vary greatly from place to place. There may be a monthly membership fee. Expect to pay $100 or more for specific classes.

Some of the new canine sports gyms are mighty impressive. Frolick Dogs, a new 5,000 square foot facility in Alexandria, Va., has doggie treadmills, balance platforms and lots of colorful rubber peanuts—stability balls designed for dogs—that help build their core and leg muscles.

There’s also a large space for agility training. All the obstacles—the jumps, hoops, tunnels, teeter totter, balance beam and weave posts—are regulation-size for those who plan to enter their dogs in competition.

Read MorePot for pets? Cannabis now helping dogs and cats

At K9 Fit Club people and pets work out together. Exercise classes are designed to give both dogs and their owners a cardio workout and strength training.

Source: K9Fit Club
At K9 Fit Club people and pets work out together. Exercise classes are designed to give both dogs and their owners a cardio workout and strength training.

Co-owner and professional dog trainer Kevin Gilliam is there to explain how to use the equipment and coach owners on ways to encourage their dogs to try new things.

“People come in the first time and they don’t know what to do or the dog is a little bit shy. And the next time they come back the dog is pulling them in here. That’s fun to see,” Gilliam says.

Kathy McAfee and her three-year-old Portuguese Water Dog Lilly recently joined Frolick Dogs after McAfee broke her ankle, derailing their regular long walks together.

“She’s a show dog and she needs to get back in shape and this place will let me do that,” McAfee says. “It took a little coaxing at first to get her to stay on the treadmill, but now she loves it.”

The All Dogs Gym & Inn in Manchester, N.H. offers people-pet exercise classes as well as doggie day care exercise programs. Owner Gail Fisher is a certified dog behavior consultant and author of the book The Thinking Dog. She believes the interaction between owner and pet at the gym helps build a strong relationship.

“It’s a very good outlet for their energy—and it’s also fun for the people,” Fisher says. “You’re training the dog in a way that exercises the dog physically and mentally, and it gets you up and moving as well.”

Too many fat dogs

Canine obesity is a huge problem. About half the nation’s dogs are seriously overweight, according to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention.

“We’re feeding them too many calories each day and they’re not getting enough physical exercise,” says veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward, who founded the association. “This is the number one health threat our pets face today and it’s completely preventable.”

Dr. Marty Becker of Vetsreet.com and author of the book Fitness Unleashed!, warns that obesity can lead to serious health problems for pets, including diabetes, joint problems and heart disease—even an increased risk of cancer.

Read MoreDownward-facing human? Yoga has gone to the dogs

He believes the growth of dog gyms is good for both pets and their owners.

“When you exercise with your pet, you tend to stick to it because they enjoy it so much,” Becker says. “They encourage you to get your tail off the floor and out the door.”

—By CNBC contributor Herb Weisbaum. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @TheConsumerman or visit The ConsumerMan website.