‘Stressful’ puppy yoga has been banned in Italy amid concerns over mistreatment

Rome: Puppy yoga classes have been banned by Italy’s Ministry of Health on animal welfare grounds.The activity involves yoga classes with puppies present, who will often have to be transported to the location.These puppies will either freely roam around the class as people engage in yoga poses, and will sometimes be incorporated into the poses.After the classes, there is sometimes a play time session with participants and the animals.The ministry has communicated that it is aware that class organisers often borrow puppies from breeders.It also said that as well as protecting the animals, the classes will be prohibited to protect human participants. However, yoga with the involvement of adult dogs will still be allowed, as it is considered a type of ‘animal assisted therapy’.Under the law, animal assisted therapy can only be carried out using full grown animals.You might love getting on your mat, but did you know that there is a link between yoga and veganism?

According to reports, regional authorities have been asked to carry out checks to make sure puppy yoga classes do not take place in their areas. A statement from dog expert Giusy D’Angelo, released by Italy’s National Board for Animal Protection, welcomed the news.Ms D’Angelo criticised puppy yoga, describing it as ‘physically and mentally stressful’ for the animals.

Another issue she raised was the risk of attendees getting carried away in the moment, and adopting the puppies. She explained: “People are overtaken by a wave of emotion after experiencing sensations of well-being from the close proximity to the puppies.

“This can lead them to make a decision without really thinking through the implications and the consequences.”

Discussing the welfare implications of puppy yoga, she said: “This type of activity is detrimental to the dogs’ wellbeing and only brings financial advantages to those who run the classes.”

Puppy yoga classes are not illegal in the UK, but they have been criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).The organisation urged people not to take part in the activity, saying there is no benefit to the animals. Other animals used in yoga classes include kittens and rabbits, with examples of goat yoga also being reported.