Opinion: '˜Is the Petsercise exercise video with Olympic gymnast Louis Smith fur real?'

Never did I think I would have the unusual experience of seeing a credible celebrity doing squats while throwing a ball for a dog to fetch in a genuine exercise video.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 10th January 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th January 2016, 1:19 pm
Olympian Louis Smith limbers up with Gift the dog as part of the world's first celebrity workout video for man and dog.
Olympian Louis Smith limbers up with Gift the dog as part of the world's first celebrity workout video for man and dog.

Thanks to Olympic gymnast and Strictly Come Dancing’s 2012 winner, Louis Smith, that day has now dawned.

The 11-minute ‘Petsercise’ workout video, which was created by MORE TH>N and Wagglepets to promote regular pet exercise, was developed in response to research suggesting that one in three dogs in the UK are overweight.

It’s a pretty shocking statistic but, in all honesty, I doubt we’re going to tackle it by the odd piecemeal offering of celebrity-sponsored bicycle crunches where your dog hops between your legs.

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Canine obesity is probably more of a reflection of the state of owners who are unwilling to – or simply don’t have the time to – put the work in and stretch their own legs, never mind those of their pets.

It may seem a bit harsh, but surely if you can’t find the time to take your pooch out for a walk you shouldn’t have a dog in the first place. If you’re desperate to get your dog fit, join a walking club or even hire a walker.

The apparent ‘world first’ of an exercise video is well worth a watch, if only for the sheer entertainment value, although to its credit it has succeeded in starting the conversation about overweight canines.

Its makers claim it includes a mixture of simple cardio, muscular and core strength exercises that will see both owners and dogs tested.

There are six pretty barking exercises to choose from, some of which appear to require a pretty attentive and well-trained pup, if you want to give Petsercise a go.

Taster of the pet workout

If you’re willing to give ‘Petsercise’ a go, here is a description of three of the six exercises Louis and his four-legged friends carry out in the fitness video.

Figure of Eights: the dog’s owner adopts a squat position and leads a dog through their legs in a figure of eight motion.

Bicycle Crunches: the dog jumps between the owner’s alternating legs.

Pro Cobra: a shoulder and back workout for the owner that sees the dog chase a treat in their hands.

Each exercise Louis Smith and his canine companions perform in the video has been developed by a vet and personal trainer. Visit www.morethan.com.