The Frolick Dogs gym in Alexandria, Virginia is 6,000 square feet, has two treadmills, balance balls, a cross-training space and an agility course. Frolick is Washington’s area’s first sports club for pets. For $50 a month, dogs get unlimited access to the facility. At the gym dogs get a greater variety of exercise, social time and a solid workout.

I’m curious if a photo ID is required at this doggie gym, like the gym for humans. What if dogs, like their owner (who joined the local gym January 2 as a New Year resolution and lost interest January 3) loss interest…what happens? Will a dog be forced to go? Since they can’t talk there’s no way for you to know your dog thinks this is a big waste of your money. He’d rather be home eating the dinner scraps that fall on the floor and chasing his tail than walking on a treadmill. If you really want him to get a workout, open the door the next time the mailman pulls up and watch him run. The dog can’t help it if your child, the one you bought the dog for, the kid who promised to walk it, doesn’t want to walk it when it rains or snows or their favorite show is on television. The dog would be happy to sit, eat biscuits and get fat right along with your kid than take a walk and have to wear that ridiculous sweater he got for Christmas. The poor dog’s embarrassed to wear such a sweater and gets taunted at the dog park. It’s a blow to a Rottweiler’s ego to be picked on by a little hotdog.

There have been times when walking I’ve seen a dog owner holding the dog and when I’ve asked, “Why” given the reply, “They like to be held.” Call me crazy, but I think holding your dog when they should be walking for exercise, maybe the reason the need for dog gyms originated.

I wonder how the dog gym policies will compare to human gyms. Will dogs be required to shower before entering – if so are the showers coed? Will they be required to walk certain directions on the track, depending on the day? Will they have to wipe down the equipment? Will they get a locker for their clothes? Oh, please, now that we have doggie gyms, doggie exercise outfits can’t be far behind.

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