Japan aqua gym goes to the dogs

Aquatic gym, El Perro runs rehabilitation programmes and training for dogs.
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Mar 06, 2007, 01.31 PM | Source: Reuters

Japan aqua gym goes to the dogs

Aquatic gym, El Perro runs rehabilitation programmes and training for dogs.

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Japan aqua gym goes to the dogs

Aquatic gym, El Perro runs rehabilitation programmes and training for dogs.

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TOKYO (Reuters) - It's a dog's life if you're old and overweight, but a Japanese gym is offering relief -- if you're canine. Aquatic gym, El Perro runs rehabilitation programmes and training for dogs that otherwise find it difficult to exercise due to creaky joints.

A fitness course, which includes a one-hour session of walking on an underwater treadmill, a swim, a hot spa dip and a shampoo and blow dry costs 6,800 yen ($59) for dogs weighing less than 5 kgs. Prices increase for heavier dogs. "I've noticed that more muscle has been built around his hind legs," said Matsuko Yamaguchi, a regular visitor to the spa with her five-year-old dachshund Monta, who suffers from rheumatism and finds it difficult to walk.

Some 35 dogs visit El Perro, which means dog in Spanish, a week. Koshoku Matsuyama, the spa's president said business was brisk as more and more dogs become as sedentary as their owners."As many dogs are starting to have lifestyles similar to humans, they are also starting to develop lifestyle-related health problems," Matsuyama said."That's why fitness clubs for dogs like this are in high demand."

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