Who In Their Right Mind Buys a $50/month Gym Membership For Their Dog?

People who spend exorbitant amounts of money pampering their dogs do so more to please themselves than their coddled canines. But it is really a bad thing? 

What's the Latest?


Businesses catering to dogs have become just about as ubiquitous as dogs themselves. You've got bakeries for dogs. Daycares for dogs. Doggy boutiques. Board games for dogs. And now: doggy gymnasiums

Canine country clubs (only pure breeds allowed) can't be that far behind.

The Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club opened last month in Alexandria, Virginia. According to its website, Frolick's facility boasts 4,800 square feet of doggy recreation  including treadmills and a show ring. Other services include grooming, boarding, and agility classes (they also do parties!). A monthly membership fee of $50 gets you and your pooch unlimited access to the space and equipment.

Steve Hendrix of The Washington Post has written a thorough profile of Frolick and the "dog industrial complex" as a whole.

What's the Big Idea?

Earlier this week we talked about the benefits service dogs provide to people in stressful situations. Yet there isn't much research out there for whether things like getting manicures or watching dog-specific TV has much of an effect on the well-being of the dogs themselves. Maybe that's because people don't pamper their pets for the animal's benefit as much as they do it to please themselves. Take this piece from Time in 2012 that discussed why Americans spent an estimated $370 million that year on -- and I can't believe I'm typing this right now -- pet Halloween costumes. The reasons we pamper our animals are a complicated cocktail of rediverted affection and anxiety relief. We Americans are a frazzled bunch and our stress levels are higher than ever. Dressing our pets as lobsters just makes us feel better.

So when you're shelling out $50 a month to get Fido on the treadmill, you're not really paying for his physical health as much as you're supporting your own mental well-being. Dogs make us feel good. We feel better if we think our dogs feel better. Thus, this.

Oh, and by the way - country clubs for dogs do exist. Go figure.

Read on at The Washington Post

Photo credit: evastudio / Shutterstock

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

Why Lil Dicky made this star-studded Earth Day music video

"Earth" features about 30 of the biggest names in entertainment.

Culture & Religion
  • Lil Dicky is a rapper and comedian who released his debut album in 2015.
  • His new music video, "Earth," features artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheehan, Kevin Hart, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • All proceeds of the music video will go to environmental causes, Dicky said.
Keep reading Show less

After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil. PublicDomainPictures.net.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

Keep reading Show less

Behold, the face of a Neolithic dog

He was a very good boy.

Image source: Historic Environment Scotland
Surprising Science
  • A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog.
  • It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.
  • The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended.
Keep reading Show less