By now, almost everyone knows what the “downward facing dog” yoga pose is. It’s about to get more interesting once a dog actually does this pose. Shelters and rescues are now adopting the trend of letting dogs experience yoga with their potential adopters. They’re starting puppy yoga classes to help socialize puppies and find them forever homes.
The Helping Humane Society in Topeka recently held a Sunday afternoon puppy yoga session. Yoga enthusiasts mingled with adoptable puppies as they tried to get in the groove of their own yoga practice.
“It’s fun just to come here with a room of puppies to play with them and do some yoga and it socializes the animals so they have a little more interaction with other humans that aren’t maybe their foster family,” said yoga instructor Susan King.
It’s a unique way to get the word out about animals who are looking for a permanent home. More than that, these yoga classes serve as a venue for the pups to play and roam around outside of the typical shelter setting.
Enjoying Their Time At The Shelter
Shelters usually have a notorious reputation for being a cold place where puppies need “rescuing.” While shelters do need families willing to adopt a pet, the goal of puppy yoga is to also ensure that the dogs are able to enjoy themselves, regardless of the outcome after.
“We’re really trying to change the way people view animal welfare. A lot of times people think it’s dogs in kennels that don’t have anywhere to go, and they think of it as being sad and overwhelming,” said Lucky 7 president Maddy Szymanski. Lucky 7 also holds its own puppy yoga sessions. “So we’re trying to change the way people think about getting involved in a rescue (to foster or volunteers).”
Dogs up to 14 weeks old join the atypical yoga class. For pups, the activity is all about mingling, playing with each other or the yoga enthusiasts, and running around the area. For human participants, it can go two ways. Some focus on their practice and enjoy the light but beneficial session. Others opt to play with the puppies, take a break by taking selfies, and enjoy the company of the puppies for the entire hour.
Since the pups are still young, the hour-long class ends very differently for pups and humans. The yoga enthusiasts feel relaxed from meditating or playing around. The dogs, however, are likely tired out, if not knocked-out, after spending all that energy at play. And, just maybe, a few of them found their new dog mom or dad.
Are you considering adopting a dog but don’t know where to start? What do you think of a puppy yoga class? Let us know in the comments below!