Category Archives: wendy’s animal talk

The Benefits of Doga: Yoga for Dogs

By Ruthie Bently

We’ve all heard about yoga and its benefits for people, but there is a new movement in the United States today called “doga,” which is yoga that you and your dog can do together. You can even purchase an instructional doga DVD that shows you how to teach doga poses to your dog. I first encountered doga last year working for Wendy’s Animal Talk radio show. It was suggested that the topic of doga might make an interesting show, and I can tell you, it was not boring!

Doga began catching on in New York and California at about the same time. Now there are several teachers around the country, as well as a new book on the subject, though the idea is not credited to any one person. Doga has spread to Jacksonville, Florida, San Francisco, and Seattle here in the States. It has even caught on in Canada and Japan, and is being taught at the Nippon Ayurveda School by the Japan Dog Association.

Doga combines meditation, gentle stretching and massage for human owners and dogs alike. While teacher training seminars are available, doga instructors do not have to complete a certification program and most instructors learn by sharing their techniques. Unfortunately doga, like anything else that is new, has its detractors. Some yoga instructors feel that yoga could be trivialized by turning it into a fad. As dogs are pack animals, many doga instructors believe that they are a good match for yoga’s premises of connection and union with other creatures.

Some of the benefits of doga include: increased flexibility, helping to resolve behavioral issues, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and aiding in digestion. As to the difficulty of teaching a dog doga, it is about the same as any other training technique. The dog probably won’t be perfect the first time out of the box, but after a few sessions he/she could be a “dogi” pro.

In a regular doga class you help your dog into different poses, and in some classes acupressure and massage are used to help your dog relax and to soothe them. If you aren’t sure how your dog will behave around other dogs, you might want to buy the DVD or the book and try it at home.

There are no special requirements for teaching your dog doga, but you should contact your vet first to make sure they are healthy enough to do it. Also, with anything else that is new you want to be very gentle with your dog no matter how healthy they are. If you take a class, you will probably want to contact the teacher first to see if you need a health certificate to make sure your dog’s shots are up to date. If the instructor tells you that you don’t need one, you may want to consider teaching your dog at home. I know if Skye was going to be in a class with a lot of other dogs, I would want to know she was safe from picking something up from another dog in class.

Doga has even spawned clothing lines, toys, exercise mats and beds for your dog. Whatever you think about this new form of exercise, it helps you spend more time with your dog, and will increase the bond that you share. What could be better than that?

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Who is Ruthie Bently?

My pet-related career began when at the age of just three years old; I found a nest of baby rabbits on a walk one day and brought them home. My poor mother must have been astonished when I began pulling rabbits out of my jacket pockets like a magician pulls them out of a hat. I was hooked and after that things just seemed to follow me home.
My first real career in the pet industry began in Evanston, Illinois in 1976, when I was hired and worked for Elsinger’s Pet Shop. Since then I have managed three different pet shops in the Chicago area. I was actually the office manager for the Aquarium Professionals Group in Evanston, a company that builds and maintains custom aquariums; when I got an offer to work for my brother here in Minnesota.
I became interested in nutrition for dogs and cats because I began seeing a lot of feeding issues with my customer’s animals. I found out that many veterinarians only have somewhat limited nutrition training in vet school, unless they go into that field. I wanted to help my customers, so I began learning everything I could on my own. I was very lucky to have a few veterinary mentors, who helped with my education and I became fairly well-versed in canine and feline nutrition. The local veterinarians in the area began sending their clients to me for my help with nutrition, when they had exhausted all their ideas. I currently hold a Pet Nutrition Consultant Certificate, and am the Owner/Consultant of Bently’s Beasties. I am also a second degree Reiki practitioner.
I am currently the Operations Manager of the WNR Company, which is based in Los Angeles, California and take care of the office. I am also the executive producer for Wendy’s Animal Talk, an Internet radio show that airs live on Tuesday afternoons from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Pacific Time on As executive producer, I research the talent or product we are interested in, schedule the guest, send out confirmation and question letters and make up the weekly show sheet for Wendy’s show. I am also in charge of the monthly newsletter for Wendy’s Animal Talk.
As well as having two blogs of my own on the Internet and writing for our company newsletter and blogs, I felt that CANIDAE’s Responsible Pet Ownership blog was right up my alley, so I applied for the position. I am very happy to say that they felt the same, and I was hired. I look forward to working with them and if you have any suggestions for things you would like to see in the future, feel free to contact me. I can be reached at: Thank you in advance for your help.
I love spending time in nature, hunting agates on the shore of Lake Superior, gardening and sitting in my yard watching the local wildlife. I live on a farm in Minnesota with my boyfriend Steve; an American Staffordshire Terrier named Skye, numerous chickens, cats, and a small flock of geese. 
Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.