Are Pet-Accompanied Workouts the Next Fitness Craze?


Getting fit is arguably the most popular New Year’s resolution. For pet owners, this promise may be a little easier to keep since exercising with pets is expected to be one of the biggest workout trends of 2018.

According to research, dog owners are actually more fit and exercise more regularly than non-dog owners. In fact, a study by the Michigan State University found that people with canine companions are 34 percent more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

This increased activity is due to a number of factors. For one, dogs need a lot of physical activity, including walks and playtime, so owners often don’t even realize how much exercise they’re actually getting. Dogs are also great motivators because they’re always full of energy and like to stick to a schedule. Just try sleeping in when your four-legged friend is raring to go – it’s better than any alarm clock.

Of course, it’s also more fun to exercise with a partner—especially one with puppy eyes and a wagging tail. One study from Great Britain found that 86 percent of respondents enjoy walking or exercising with their pets compared to just 16 percent who like going to the gym.

One business that is well positioned to make the most of the trend toward working out with pets is Zoom Room, an L.A.-based indoor dog gym and training facility franchise that is designed for active-lifestyle dog owners. Not a drop-off training facility, Zoom Room offers dog owners an opportunity to participate in variety of training classes—including agility, obedience, tricks training and more—in an atmosphere that is described as “a lot like an upscale gym or fitness center.”

This increase interest in pet-accompanied workouts also presents a prime opportunity for pet retailers—regardless of whether or not they offer formal training services—to drive sales and boost brand awareness. Consider creating a special display of toys like balls and flying discs, as well as leads and harnesses, with signage promoting human-animal workouts. Or, sponsor a dog training session or community event that encourages physical activity.


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