You might have already heard of this new dog fitness fad called K9 Fit Clubs and how they work. If not, then you’re on the right page! Yes, it’s a dog gym and yes, their humans are more than welcome to join!
Before we check out their fun classes, let’s see how it started and what BIGGEST health problem k9 Fit Clubs are trying to address..
Number 1 health threat in dogs is OBESITY. Dog obesity is a serious illness that occurs when body fat accumulates. Dogs that weigh 10-20% above their ideal weight are considered obese. According to VCA Animal Hospital, around 25-30 % of dogs are obese in North America. It occurs at any age but it’s more prevalent in dogs aged 5-11 years old.
Obesity shortens a dog’s life span by 6-12 months. Lifetime studies also shows that even moderately overweight dogs live shorter by nearly two years compared to their learner counterparts. This is because obese dogs are more at risk of heart diseases, liver diseases, osteoarthritis, and many types of cancer .
What can be done?
Well, let’s pretend you haven’t heard of K9 Fit Clubs and we haven’t mentioned them yet..
First step is knowing your options. Your options will depend on many things like where you live, your overall health, free time, lifestyle and personal preferences. When it comes to your dog, there are couple of things that you need to consider also like your dog’s breed, personality, age, and health. Knowing your dog’s breed will provide you with information such as your dog’s behavioral tendencies and risks of diseases.
Next step is choosing the best option. To find the the best option for you, it’s necessary that you take everything into account. That is why it is important that you do your research and consult a veterinarian before starting any routine. If you have an extremely energetic dog, brisk walking 20 minutes a day won’t be enough. Naturally shy dogs might be better off doing yard trainings and exercises or better yet, TAKE YOUR DOG TO A GYM.
What are K9 Fit Clubs and How They Work?
K9fit club is a fitness and wellness platform that aims to address the issue of dog obesity while strengthening the human-canine bond through a tandem workout program. This type of program integrates human and dog health and requires participation from both the human and their dogs. K9 fit club creates a safe and controlled environment where people and their dogs can exercise together and have fun while feeling a sense of community belonging. Indeed, a relationship goal!
In addition, K9 fit club offers online certification program for people who are interested in training dogs and people. The program is research-based and time-efficient as it was developed with the help of several professionals in the veterinary, medical and fitness fields. The purpose of the program is to provide a structure and a routine that people and their dogs can follow easily without the unnecessary need to dominate their canine companions. Fitness, bond and behavior improvement are the goals of k9fit club.
How Does K9 Fit Club Really Work?
Sit, Stay & Get Fit – The program starts with basic obedience class. This is a preparation for the next phase which is the beginner program. The client and the dog will learn basic obedience and commands that will come in handy during the exercise.This is important because it helps your dog recall the simple cues, good etiquettes, and manners that he learned in his past trainings. Or, if your dog hasn’t had any, it will teach him those.
The obedience training is positive reinforcement-based. The client will learn how to use positive-reinforcement to foster mutual trust and confidence in their dogs. K9fit club encourages collaboration rather than domination. They believe that good relationship is built from trust and it starts with gaining confidence with learning and communication. Obedience training of k9fit club is especially designed for those who do not have any exercise regime including people with disabilities, seniors, and people with inactive lifestyle.
Begging For Beginner– After basic obedience, they can proceed to the beginner program. The beginner program consists of basic workouts which starts with familiarizing the client with the equipment and reintroduction of what k9fit club is all about. The workouts are fairly easy for all fitness levels and makes a good starting point for pet owners who want to get back in shape.
The beginner program has 5 workouts: 1 workout for the client, 1 behavior training and 3 workouts for the clients and their dogs. These are introductory workouts, and trainers will see to it that these workouts are fun, safe and easy-peasy.
Bow Wow Bootcamp– The third phase of the K9fit program . Workouts might get a little bit intense before they get easier here. Clients with high fitness levels will surely enjoy this phase as it’s a good mix of body conditioning, high-intensity strength, agility and cardio performed in circuit training and stationary work. This program also incorporates games, weight training and core training in classes just for an added load. Let’s see the ways that each training helps health:
Strength Training– This type of exercise helps develop muscular strength by working out a specific muscle group of clients and dogs through resistance training. It uses free-weights, weight machines, and body weight. This improves clients and dogs health by:
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Helping the body burn calories efficiently
- Improving muscle mass and bone health
- Developing better body mechanics
- Helping manage chronic diseases
- Improving mental health and boosting energy levels
Agility Training- This type of exercise helps improves the clients and dogs ability to change direction and position quickly while standing or moving through a variety of exercises or obstacle course. In addition, it also improves clients and dogs fitness specifically their physical performance metrics by:
- Improving mobility and balance
- Strengthening the lower and upper body
- Improving movement mechanics, posture and endurance
Cardio Training– Also called anaerobic exercise. It involves a range of rhythmic movements to raise the heart rate until it hits the target heart rate zone. This is the zone where the body expends the most calories and burns excess fats. If weight loss is the goal, then this will help the client and dog reach that. In addition, cardio training also helps:
- Improve sleep quality
- Enhances respiratory health and lung capacity
- Boosts sexual performance
- Builds healthy bones when performed with weights
- Stimulates production of endorphins or happy hormones
- Improves body image and builds confidence
- Lowers the chances of heart attach, diabetes, and many types of cancer
- Strengthens heart muscles and helps heart pumps more blood throughout the body
Just The Dog– As the name itself suggests, this exercise will involve just the dog. Just the dog is a range of exercises that focuses on dog behavior and training. It will teach dogs to be well-adjusted, well-mannered and socially competent. Just the dog integrates physical fitness through adding a series of cardio, strength training and agility training. The goal is to expend the energy of dogs as healthily as possible while keeping up good behavior.
What are the benefits of K9 Fit Clubs?
Promotes strong human-canine bond. Spending quality time together is the best way to improve your relationship with your dog. Relationship is about creating and sharing positive experiences together and giving each other support, care, and attention. K9fit club gives that space for clients and dogs.
Their aim is to strengthen the human-canine bond through a tandem workout program that is positive reinforcement-based and is designed by professionals in the medical, veterinary, and fitness fields. In addition to the workouts, there is also a series of obedience training that both engages the client and dogs and encourages collaboration rather than domination.
Promotes socialization with other dogs and people. Dogs and people with healthy outlets to expend their energy and time are much healthier, both physically and mentally. Socialization with other people and dogs while working out at the same time is one of those healthy outlets that works out both the body and mind.
There’s a saying, “a tired pup is a good pup”. This rings true even with humans. K9 fit club creates an avenue for people and dogs to socialize and sweat through their group fitness classes. They make sure that all dogs and clients feel included and connected both to each other and to the K9fit team.
Provides a routine and structure. What makes dogs a great companion for humans is their innate need for and ability to take on a structure and routine. Structure creates balance and stability, and when it’s established properly and consistently done, it can create a sense of joy, fulfillment and confidence in dogs.
Having a solid plan and program that gradually progresses will provide you and your dog a structure that both of you can look forward to (not resent) everyday. K9fit club provides you with that! They ensure that each class is different, structured but fun and will set you and your dog both for success!
Improves health in several aspects like mental, physical and emotional. What’s good about exercise is that it has a positive effect on almost every aspects of health. It strengthens bones, muscles, lungs and heart. It improves the mood, relieves stress and enhances self-esteem through the feel-good hormones that the body produces.
K9 fit club fitness program has a great mix of cardio, agility and strength training. Each brings great health benefits and reduces the chances of chronic conditions hence improving the quality of life of dogs and clients.
We know that not everyone has the capacity to pay for gym classes or a personal trainer. Moreover, we are well-aware that there is an ongoing pandemic and gym might not be the best place to be at at the moment. Do not fret as there are other great options to get you your dog fit and healthy that you can do at home, at the beach, or at a nearby park.
Daily Brisk Walking. This can also prevent obesity and a lot of diseases associated with obesity or weight gain like cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, and insulin resistance. Besides its physical benefits, walking can also provide mental stimulation for both of you and your dog. At least 20 minutes a day of brisk walking is recommended to get the most benefits from this physical activity.
Interactive Play. This engages both you and your dog in a playful manner. What makes interactive play exceptional is that it’s rejuvenating, pleasurable and brings out the inner child in you. Also, it’s unstructured. Structure is great but there is also greatness in being able to move freely without the barrier of predetermined rules (Right?). When it comes to health and well-being, interactive play is also beneficial. Here are the best interactive play recommended by Puppy Leaks:
- Use Flirt Pole
- Tug of War
- DIY Agility Course
- Use Kong Stuffing & Food Dispensing Toys
- Chasing bubbles
- Hide & Seek
- Finding Treats
- Water games
Dog Sports. Another option is dog sports. Dog sports is great for dogs that are highly active and energetic like Australian Shepherd, German Shorthaired and Pointer Border Collie. However, for dogs that have low physical energy levels like Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Bulldog, dog sports may not be the best bet. Dog sports helps dog lose weight especially those dogs that require lots of exercise to burn fats. Besides that, it helps prevent obesity, increases endurance, and strengthens bones and joints. Here’s top 10 dog sports included in The Spruce Pets list:
Now that you have an idea about what K9 fit clubs and how they work, you know that it was built to help you and your dog work towards your health and fitness goals with its tandem workout program. Sweat with your dog, have fun and make friends! But then again, it’s best to check with your doctor and your dog’s veterinarian before starting any exercise program!