RSPCA urges animal-lovers to say no to puppy yoga classes
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The practice of puppy yoga has been thrust into the spotlight this week following an ITV News investigation - with the RSPCA raising concerns that it is detrimental to dog welfare and could even be fuelling unscrupulous puppy traders.
The sessions, which take place across the region, involve puppies - some as young as six weeks old - roaming around a yoga class and, in some cases, being incorporated in yoga poses.
In recent years it has gained popularity, particularly among celebrities and influencers.
But while organisers claim it is good for the puppies’ socialisation, the RSPCA has responded – saying there is nothing in the environment which we would consider to be beneficial to the health, welfare or the behavioural lifelong development of these animals.
Esme Wheeler, dog behaviour expert at the RSPCA, said: "If a young puppy is placed into situations where they feel overwhelmed and frightened they may start to view the things they are being introduced to as frightening, which can then lead to a negative reaction in the future and the potential development of behavioural problems.
"Sadly, as the ITV News piece showed, these puppy yoga classes are detrimental to the puppies and we’re really glad that it has had national coverage this week as it may make people think twice before attending one.
"You might think it is cute to be able to cuddle a puppy while doing yoga but would it be cute if you knew that doing so is actually not benefiting the dog at all?
"We know many people attending puppy yoga classes want to be kind to animals - but won't have realised the implications these classes can have for dogs and their welfare.”
Anyone who has concerns about a puppy yoga class should get in touch with their local council, as many animal business activities seeking to make a profit require licensing by the local authority.