No time to run your dog? No problem!

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“The joy it brings to customers when their dog overcomes their issues and can fit in with a pack of weird dogs is extremely rewarding,” says Rob MacKay of Sweaty Dog Fitness Company.

Let the dogs get in shape, make friends and have fun.

Moxy, a beautiful and intelligent German Shepherd, once had extreme trauma to his right front carpal and was fitted with a custom corset.

Rob MacKay, her owner, was told by her vet that Moxy could live a normal life with the brace on, but she probably wouldn’t be able to run three miles anymore.

Against all odds, Moxy finally returned to 5K races with her friends, wearing her brace.

“I sent the doctor a video clip and she used it at a conference she was speaking at,” MacKay said. BarrieToday.

Moxy died last fall at the age of 13, but her rehabilitation is one of many priceless moments for MacKay, owner of Sweaty Dog Fitness Company in Barrie.

MacKay began doing part-time private dog runs, primarily for overweight dogs. He always knew it would be a hit, but the turning point came years later when he took time off from his job at Costco.

“Life was busy between the two jobs and I knew it was time to choose one or the other,” he says.

Working full time with his students has been a constant source of enthusiasm and inspiration for MacKay.

“The best part of handling the dogs is watching their eagerness to run. From the moment I pick them up until we hit the trail, they are in unabashed joy to move,” he says.

MacKay has fitness goals that can include cardiovascular improvement, weight maintenance, and even socializing.

“Any dog ​​that does not receive physical and mental stimulation can display bad behaviors, such as house destruction, barking and aggression, to name a few. Pack running benefits them socially. and mentally,” he says.

MacKay has worked with many breeds including Shepherds, Goldens, Collies, Australians, Doodles and Huskies, as well as mixes, and has rescued Northern Husky mixes in particular. He says he is fascinated by how they overcome their fear and distrust of other dogs and people.

“Most dogs are very friendly. They range from very sociable and playful to quiet and somewhat shy. But I accept that many don’t have great social skills, and I think they just need a chance,” he says.

MacKay runs with eight to ten dogs at a time, all tied to his waist with leashes. Despite his racing background, he admits it’s tough.

“Although they’re all in work mode, I still have dogs pulling from different sides, so I have to focus on maintaining my balance,” he says. “I also have to watch where I walk and be wary of rocks, roots, holes and other objects so I don’t trip and fall, which happens a few times a year.

Nevertheless, the difficulties are not enough to prevent him from developing a special relationship with many of his dogs. For some, he says, it happens almost instantly, while for others with more difficult traits, it takes a bit longer.

“A lot of my clients have rescue dogs, and some of those dogs have behavioral issues,” MacKay says. “The joy it brings to clients when their dog overcomes their issues and can fit in with a pack of strange dogs is extremely rewarding.”

MacKay praises the relationship he has built with his clients along the way, to the point of considering them friends and family.

“Dog owners are some of the nicest, friendliest, most trusting and understanding people I know. They know what it means to own a dog and the responsibility that comes with it,” he says.

He also engages with walkers, sitters, groomers and other professional pet service providers in a Facebook group.

“It’s a tight-knit community. We are here to help each other succeed. Whether it’s owners or service providers, it’s about giving our pets the best life possible,” says MacKay.

For more information on Sweaty Dog Fitness Company, check out the Facebook page by clicking here.

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