Dog News

Mobile Dog Gym Helps AZ Shelter Dogs Get Exercise Despite Heat

by Amy Drew

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A well exercised dog is a happy dog and a happy dog gets adopted!

Staffers at the Arizona Animal Welfare League concur, but this time of year, it’s challenging. The outside temperatures are so sweltering, oftentimes the need for immediate safety outweighs the need for exercise and so dogs are kept inside instead of being permitted to run about in the enclosures.

But now, thanks to David Lopez, they can get their exercise in the safety of the AC!

“I started rehabilitating pit bulls about 13 years ago with treadmills, human treadmills, then I started training the Arizona Fire Department Search and Rescue dog team here about two years ago,” Lopez told FOX10.

These days, this professional dog trainer is the man behind RunBuddyMobile, a mobile dog gym.

“We take care of putting the dog on the treadmill, getting him comfortable with it, working him through his paces,” he said.

Lopez has been helping AZ Animal League staff and volunteers exercise the hundreds of pups looking for a home, because it’s too hot to walk them, according to spokesperson Michael Moorefield.

“Unless you are walking your dog really late at night or really early in the morning, I’m talking darkness, it’s really not safe to have your animal outside doing a lot of exercise,” he said.

The treadmill is self-propelled, which means the dog determines the speed by motivation.

“That cheerleading is so important,” Moorefield said. “Your dog’s life revolves around you and revolves around that positive feedback.”

In addition to a workout, Lopez says just 30 minutes on the treadmill will change your dog’s mood.

“You get a dog in a calm mental state of mind, which leads to easier training,” he said.

RunBuddyMobile has treadmills that accommodate dogs from 20 to 200 pounds, so every shelter resident gets the chance to run off some pent-up energy!