June 2, 2014 By Tessa Love
If you’re trying to get rid of the blues or even snag a date, a pooch is the perfect prescription. Dogs can also help you lose weight. Just ask Tricia Montgomery, who credits her basset hound Louie for helping her drop 135 pounds.
Her commendable weight loss inspired her to create K9 Fit Club, the premier human and canine indoor fitness program in the nation. Launched in 2008, K9 Fit Club now has eight locations and is growing.
Studies show that playing with your dog can decrease anxiety, blood pressure, and allergies, elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, and give you a great ice breaker to talk to cuties you meet at the park. And then there’s Fido, or in this case, Louie’s effect on his guardian’s weight loss.
Montgomery’s weight loss
When the scales tipped to 265 lbs, Montgomery knew it was time to make some changes in her life. She didn’t opt for any extreme diet, Weight Watchers program, or surgery. Instead, she took Louie out for a walk. Then she did it again and again, incorporating other exercises into her routine until the weight disappeared. With such a success story, Montgomery knew she had to spread this knowledge to others struggling to stay in shape. Voila! K9 Fit Club was born. And with two thirds of Americans and 52% of dogs overweight or obese, this concept couldn’t have come at a better time for pet and people health and happiness.
“If a person is unhappy with their weight,” Montgomery said, “that is bound to transfer to the dog. If we are obese, ours dogs are likely to be obese.” – K9 Fit Club
Incorporating such exercise programs as Pilates and Tai Chi (aptly named Pup Pilates and Tai Chi Wawa at K9 Fit Club), Montgomery worked with veterinarians, doctors, pet and person trainers, and certified animal behavior specialists to develop work out routines for dogs and people tailored towards getting both creatures fit and healthy. It’s also a way for pet parents to spend time with their pups and teach them some obedience training too.
“It’s about relationship and connection,” said Montgomery, who now works out with her red-nosed pit bull, Zeus. “You get to work out with your best friend and the best part is, they can’t flake on you.”
Getting Fido fit and trained is also important for taking him on the road. Flying can be stressful for a pup – especially if he has to fly cargo – and the healthier he is, the better. Health certificates signed by a vet within 10 days of travel are often required when a pet travels as baggage or cargo and always when pets travel overseas, even as in-cabin pets. Animals in poor health may be advised not to fly. It is also important for your furry friend to be well trained when traveling. With so many new environments to take in, an untrained pooch could be difficult to tote around.
So it’s a good thing K9 Fit Club is here for you. With the first ever certified K9 Fit Club program for trainers, you will be in good hands at any of K9 Fit Club’s eight locations. That’s Montgomery’s number one goal.
“I want to make sure we reach every person, and every dog.”