Is Puppy Yoga Unethical? Reporter Exposes “Risk of Harm” as Influencers Prioritize Posts Over Pups

Puppy yoga may be putting young pups at risk, according to an undercover investigation


3 Minutes Read

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When an ITV News investigative video reporter brought an undercover camera into puppy yoga studios, he found that young pups are being forced into poses and not given regular water or allowed to sleep. Now animal welfare advocates are calling for a ban on the booming trend of puppy yoga, claiming that influencers are prioritizing their Instagram stories and TikTok posts over the welfare of the pups.

The video shows a variety of behavior ranging from puppies acting up to dogs being forced to perform. The dogs are not owned by the people who sign up to take the classes, but are obtained through local breeders and animal shelters, and are often too young or not properly cared for by the studio owners, the reporter discovered.

@itvnews Is puppy yoga ethical? An ITV News investigation #itvnews #puppy #yoga #dog ♬ original sound – itvnews

In the wake of the investigation, the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty) and The Kennel Club have both called the treatment of these animals in puppy yoga classes ‘shocking’ and ‘dangerous’ and called for the practice to end since it could be in breach of the Animal Welfare Act.

Not only does the undercover video show that some of the uncooperative dogs being manhandled to assume the positions, but a number of the puppies are younger than 8 weeks old, which is the acceptable age that puppies are allowed to be adopted and separated from their mothers. (Unless hardship circumstances require earlier adoption such as when the mother is absent or ill.) The youngest pups were about 6 and and half weeks old.

The dark side of puppy yoga

Here is what this intrepid animal rights reporter found when he checked out the conditions at puppy yoga. Puppies are being worked for hours without sleep or water and some are too young to be considered appropriate in a social setting or away from their mums.

In at least one yoga studio that investigative video producer Sam Leader went to, the dogs were kept in a warm room without water, and in another, the dogs were trying to sleep and got woken up to perform their yoga tasks. Still another studio prevented the dogs from leaving the room when they tried to escape.

Since this video surfaced, there are new calls to ban the booming trend of puppy yoga, which is popular among influencers. The conclusion of the reporter and the animal advocates who have seen and commented on the video story: Puppy yoga puts dogs at ‘serious risk’ of harm.

The studios vary in their treatment and handling of animals. One tells prospective students: “We offer classes to complete beginners … so if you want to roll around on the floor for an hour with puppies rather than take part in activities that’s ok with us too!”

While some of the class organizers claim the puppies benefit from the practice of puppy yoga, and argue that it helps in their “socialization,” the animal welfare experts say otherwise.

In a quote in the Daily Mail, RSPCA’s Esme Wheeler said, “There is nothing in that environment which I would consider to be beneficial to the health, the welfare or the behavioral lifelong development of these animals.”

Watch this video before you sign your pup up for puppy yoga. What looks good on your feed may actually be harmful to the animals, or at least unloving and lacking empathy — which, if you think about it, is the opposite of zen.

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