There’s no doubt that we love our dogs and they are becoming more and more a part of the family then ever. Billions and billions are spent every year by pet owners for the care, feeding and accessorizing of our fubabies. We pamper, coddle and take the best care of them we can including their health so it really should come as no surprise to see the latest, a rehab and fitness center. 😀

From Byron, Minnesota, plans for a dog rehab and fitness center and going into action.

Pooches needing to shed some pounds or regain mobility after surgery soon might have a new place to go.

Byron veterinarians Kristi Frost and Garren Kelly have proposed a canine rehabilitation and fitness center at 855 Frontage Road N.W. in Byron. This could be the only center of its kind in southeast Minnesota, Kelly said.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Kelly, who specializes in orthopedic surgery at Byron Pet Clinic.

The Byron Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the fitness center. The city council is expected to vote on the plan at its Wednesday night meeting.

Frost owns Byron Pet Clinic, which previously was based out of another Frontage Road building before opening a larger facility along the Frontage Road. Most recently, the facility was used by Bear Country Auto. The fitness center would be staffed by a physical therapist who specializes in working with dogs. Among the tools used by the therapist would be an underwater treadmill to help improve a dog’s athletic conditioning, Kelly said. Dogs recovering from surgery also could be treated to improve their mobility and lessen their recovery time. Canines that are elderly or overweight also would benefit from the center, Frost said.

The study of canine rehabilitation is growing, said Darryl Millis, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The university offers one of the world’s few canine rehabilitation certification programs.

He said rehabilitation can be particularly helpful for dogs with chronic conditions such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. It also offers an alternative to medication.

During the Monday night meeting, one neighbor voiced concern about the possibility of loud barking coming from the center. But Frost assured the commission that only one dog likely would be treated at a time, and most of the exercises would be done indoors. None of the dogs would be kenneled overnight.

Frost says they hope to open the center by early fall. (Post-Bulletin)

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