Frolick Dogs Gym offers dog owners a new way to keep their pets happy and healthy. –Michael Balderston
In today’s busy world, it’s hard to make the time to get in the necessary exercise, to shed those unwanted pounds, or to just get out and play, for man or dog.
Dogs need more than the occasional walk to stay healthy—veterinarians say that more than 50 percent of dogs in the U.S. are obese. But what’s a dog owner to do? Believe it or not, a gym membership for your dog may be just the answer.
Frolick Dogs, a canine sports club, opened up in June in Alexandria with the purpose of helping dogs get the exercise and mental challenges they need to stay healthy. Run by husband and wife Kevin and Kim Gilliam, Frolick Dogs offers a full gym experience for your four-legged companions, featuring treadmills, agility courses, showers and even their own monthly membership.
After more than six years as a dog trainer with the Olde Towne School for Dogs, Kevin was looking for the next step in dog care.“We were looking for the ‘what’s next,’” says Kevin. “As a trainer, I was like, where can I go and train my dog, or where can I practice or where can I do things … in a space that can accommodate everybody, or as many needs as we can.”
So Kevin and Kim set out to create Frolick Dogs, a 4,800-square-foot gym that tailors exclusively to the exercise and health needs of dogs. Owners can sign up for a month-long membership for $60 in which they get full access to the facility any time of day, or day-board their dogs and have Kevin and Kim run them through workouts. Non-members can drop in for $10 for a day pass. They also plan to host seminars with dog health and medicine experts to keep owners well informed on the needs of their pets.
“I think we tapped into a whole subculture that we never really knew existed,” says Kevin. “Some people have Harleys, some people have dogs.” He may be right. Requests have been coming in from places like New York, Chicago, California and even Dubai for Kevin and Kim to expand their operations. Places like those may have dog-friendly communities, but according to Kevin and Kim there are very few places that offer all the aspects of a traditional gym for dogs.
What tops it all for Kim and Kevin is the bond that this opportunity allows for owners and their dogs and making them as knowledgeable as possible. “We not only build the dog’s confidence,” says Kevin, “we build the owner’s confidence.”
“These are the best clients to have,” says Kim. “Working with them, challenging them, seeing them grow and develop, it’s very rewarding.”
3208 Colvin St., Alexandria;
Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m – p.m.,
and Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.