Let’s face it: fitness isn’t always fun. But, what if we told you there was a way to make it entertaining, enjoyable and a family affair? Thanks to Feet & Paws Fitness, every dog owner’s dream has finally come true.
Feet & Paws Fitness is about helping people be healthy and active with their best friend by integrating dog obedience with fun agility drills and challenging strength training in one-of-a-kind group fitness classes. With Feet & Paws Fitness, dog parents get a chance to play, too. From agility ladders to hurdles and fitness games, everyone gets in on the fun.
According to Feet & Paws Fitness’ “head hound” Tracy James, the concept was brewing for a while. “I had an idea in my twenties to open a gym where you could workout with your dog. I loved dogs, I loved fitness, and I didn’t want to regret leaving the idea to combine these two wonderful things on the shelf,” says the founder.
When it comes to the benefits of getting fit with your pup, the list is endless. “In addition to the various health benefits, including helping you both live longer, improving performance of daily activities, controlling weight, improving mental health, and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, working out in unison can also help your dog behave better at home.” And, let’s face it: Everyone knows a tired dog is a good dog!
Whether your pup is a newbie or a total team player, there’s a class for the both of you. “New Paws on the Block” is the business’s introductory class that focuses on basic obedience skills, while still providing team strength, cardio and agility training. “From there, teams can progress to ‘Total Team Training,’ which calls for more advanced drills and exercises,” James tells us. The best part? Every class ends with a relaxing doggie massage! If owners are so inclined to take this knowledge home, Feet & Paws Fitness offers “Knead to Know My K9,” a class designed to teach them how to properly massage their pup from head to tail. Prices for group classes start at $30 but can decrease if people buy in packages.
While every K9 is welcome to attend, a consultation is required for all new teams (a person and his/her dog) before attending any group classes. During this meeting, James will discuss fitness goals, assess the dog’s health and temperament, complete a short obedience lesson, review proper exercise forms, and go over what supplies are needed for class. “It’s a chance for me to get to know each team to help them start off on the right foot…and paw,” James says.
“For me, success is when a team first completes the “park” command (meaning dog in a stationary heel position) for the first time,” she says. “This shows that the owner and dog are starting to work together as a team and learning each other’s language. From here, the two will see that the sky is the limit and everything will just get more awesome.”
Up next? James is planning to open a full-fledged gym in the near future, explaining, “although it’s not a reality just yet, I hope with the success of our group fitness classes, it is something that will happen in the not-so-distant future.” A gym for people and pups? We’re in!
Main image via Shane Karns