Keep Yoga ‘Pup-Free’ This International Yoga Day

Yorkie puppy

This International Yoga Day (21 June), the RSPCA is urging animal lovers to reject the rising trend of puppy yoga.

Puppy yoga involves litters of puppies being brought into human yoga classes. Many organisers claim these sessions help socialise the young animals, but welfare groups like the RSPCA are concerned about the negative impact on the puppies.

Recently banned in Italy and soon to be outlawed in the Netherlands due to welfare concerns, puppy yoga classes continue to pop up weekly across the UK.


Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare expert, stated: “Sadly, puppy yoga has gained more traction as time has gone on, with people thinking that it is ‘cute’ – but the puppies – sometimes younger than eight weeks – can be overwhelmed and frightened. It can have such a detrimental effect on their welfare, and we’re really worried the popularity of this trend is growing and being fuelled by social media.

“Many puppy yoga organisers say the classes help socialise the animals, but this isn’t socialisation in any sense. Puppy socialisation needs to be carried out gradually, where exposure to various experiences, people and other animals is controlled and calm. Not doing so can have a negative effect on the puppy.”

In April, a UK parliamentary committee report raised concerns about puppy yoga, highlighting that the welfare of underage and potentially unvaccinated puppies in such settings could be at risk.

“If you are invited to a puppy yoga class, just say no,” Esme urged. “We would say to anyone who wants to go to a puppy yoga class to give it a miss.

“A puppy-free yoga class on International Yoga Day will be much more relaxing, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that no puppies are getting stressed out. Yoga as a practice shouldn’t involve the exploitation of vulnerable animals.

“If you really want to stroke some puppies, get in touch with your local RSPCA branch as they may need volunteers to help with animals!”

Main photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

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