Dog Yoga; the Ultimate Pet Pampering or the Latest Sign of the End of Days?

Newsweek, May 2, 2014 | Go to article overview

Dog Yoga; the Ultimate Pet Pampering or the Latest Sign of the End of Days?


Organic food, prepared as simply as possible or, preferably, left raw. Frequent sessions with a spiritually inclined fitness practitioner, working toward the health of both mind and body. Nontraditional healing techniques rather than those of Western medicine. And of course, regular detoxifying cleanses.

That may sound like a health regimen penned by Gwyneth Paltrow (whose online publication Goop is a paean to self-actualization, a process that now seems to include divorce), but it's actually the discipline for a different kind of animal: the American dog.

In recent years, upscale pet owners have been turning to alternative treatments and seeking out services like acupuncture, yoga classes and even cleanses for their beloved companions. Dr. Jeffrey Levy, a veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist in New York City, has seen a marked increase in patients. "I have pet owners tell me all the time about how transformative acupuncture has been for their pets," he says. "They'll pick up a toy they haven't played with in years, or start digging in the dirt like a much-younger animal. The pets are really rejuvenated by the treatments."

Though he doesn't rely on acupuncture exclusively and cautions patients against using the treatment without exploring possible underlying causes of any problems, Levy argues that it can be highly effective, particularly for pain management and orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis or a bad back.

Margo Spellman, a Seattle-based artist, says acupuncture changed the life of her 8-year-old Havanese, Zapeato. "He was limping and had a twisted pelvis. I'd taken him to the chiropractor before, which helped for a while, but then the effects wore off," she says. "I was really desperate to find something to help with his pain, and I didn't want to resort to drugs."

Spellman herself has benefited from massage and acupuncture in the past, and after some research, decided to try them for her dog.

Marlo Fogelman, the owner of a Boston-based marketing and communications firm, saw similar results with her shih-poo, Lulu. "Lulu developed a back problem that was causing her so much pain she would yelp when she was touched." Unwilling to rely on the medication prescribed by her vet, Fogelman started looking for an animal acupuncturist. "Once we started her on acupuncture, Lulu's yelping went away almost immediately. It's taken away her pain, and we didn't have to use drugs."

Dog yoga, also known as "doga," is another popular alternative-health option for pet owners. Suzi Teitelman, who claims to have founded the discipline back in 2001, says it will lead to happier, healthier pets that are more bonded to their owners. "Dogs are pack animals, so they're a natural match for yoga's emphasis on connection with other beings," Teitelman says. "It absolutely offers the same benefits as regular yoga--strength, flexibility and peace--but probably the most important takeaway for dogs and their owners is the bonding it creates."

Teitelman compares dog yoga to infant yoga; pet parents move the animals through the poses or involve them in their own poses. She has trained several doga instructors and offers DVDs for pet owners who can't find classes near them.

Shanna Olson, a Hollywood "dog mom" to two Pomeranians, raves about doga. "Jack is very high-strung, and since we've been doing doga, he seems much less nervous and anxious," she says. "He used to lick the walls when I would leave, but now that's stopped. And Isabella has always been a little overweight, but she hates going on walks. This has been great exercise for her."

Doga isn't the only new age fitness option available for dogs. Jaime Van Wye, CEO and founder of the Zoom Room dog training center, has recently begun offering classes in "pup-lates" (a canine variant of Pilates). "Pup-lates combines physical fitness and low-impact agility training with a mental component called 'puzzling,' which includes a lot of thinking games for the dogs, such as a training drill where owners use rewards (like dog treats) to teach their dogs to track the scent of their footsteps," Van Wye says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Dog Yoga; the Ultimate Pet Pampering or the Latest Sign of the End of Days?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.