Despite its celebrity endorsement, puppy yoga has come under fire following a disturbing investigation into the beloved trend…
An investigation into puppy yoga classes has unearthed a dark reality behind the popular craze.
Across the UK, many yoga centres offer sessions where puppies are brought into the studio for customers to interact with.
The trend has been popularised by a slew of celebs from shows such as Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex.
However, an ITV News investigation into a number of these classes found the baby animals were being put at ‘serious risk’.
Investigation into puppy yoga
Undercover filming revealed basic welfare requirements for the young animals were not being met.
At ‘Puppy Yoga Essex’ hosted by ‘The Bully Barn’ in Wickford, puppies were denied access to water for an hour in fear of them having an accident in the studio.
Moreover, at a class organised by Puppy Yoga Liverpool – dogs were repeatedly woken up to play with customers. Experts have branded this behaviour as a ‘form of torture’.
At a class in Nottingham, ITV were told by the breeder that the puppies had just turned eight weeks old. Despite this, they were already subject to doing around ‘three lessons a day’.
Photo © DaniloAndjus via Getty Images
‘Entertainment’ disguised as ‘socialisation’
Puppy Yoga UK has classes nationwide. It claims its dogs are provided with the ‘perfect atmosphere’ to introduce them into the real world at aid their socialisation.
However, Esme Wheeler, a science and policy officer for dog welfare and behaviour at the RSPCA, disagrees.
“This is entertainment, in my view, which is operating under the guise of socialisation. But, this is not to the benefit of the dogs,” she said.
“There is nothing in that environment which I would consider to be beneficial to the health, the welfare or the behavioural lifelong development of these animals.
“Socialisation is about introducing a young animal to something in a way which is gradual, calm, and they have the freedom to move away.”
Robert Goodwill MP added: “It isn’t that we need to change the law. It’s already against the law to be cruel to animals. And, I believe this is cruelty.
“These puppies are being exploited, there’s no evidence in the film that the animals were enjoying the contact with people.”
Puppy Yoga Essex in Wickford, operated by The Bully Barn, declined to comment on the findings of the ITV investigation.
Puppy Yoga Nottingham, Liverpool, and Puppy Yoga UK did not respond to ITV’s repeated requests for comment.
Vegan Food & Living has contacted the companies for comment.
Want a more ethical stretch? Check out our piece on Jivamukti yoga – the practice where yoga meets veganism
Featured image © Prostock-Studio via Getty Images