Working out at South London dog-friendly gym Dog House Fitness

large dog looks up at dog-friendly Dog House Fitness gym

Are you of the idea that a good motivation to win laziness and go work out would be dogs? Well, canines are coming to the rescue! A new very dog-friendly gym/fitness studio has opened in town: the Dog House Fitness in Balham, South London! We checked it out and tell you all about it in this post.

London dog-friendly gym Dog House Fitness

Dog House Fitness box gloves

The Dog House Fitness is a boutique spin and box studio that opened just a few months ago minutes away from Balham station. Both instructors and clients bring in their dogs and let them roam free in the lobby/cafe area on the ground floor, so on any given day you will find furry temporary residents looking for cuddles and having a ball!

Dog House Fitness also became “Company Friend of Battersea Dogs Home”, so any fundraising they do will be destined to Battersea (formerly Battersea Dogs and Cats Home).

Woman in training clothes play with a dog at dog-friendly gym in South London

Add that, being the cafe dog-friendly, also passers-by come in with their four-legged companions just to enjoy the great coffee or have bruch or a piece of cake. For this reasons, there is a sign on the front door advising to keep it shut, although some of the dogs are so used to being around that they don’t set paw out of the building even when the door is open.

Dog standing on his back paws in front of Dog House Fitness in Balham

One would expect that the name of the place came from their super dog-friendly policy, but despite this and the fact that both the co-founders have dogs and are big dog lovers, the name has another meaning. “Doghouse was actually more to the idea that we all eat and drink more than we should, so we put our bodies in the doghouse and you have to come doghouse to get out the doghouse!”, explained Dog House Fitness co-founder Justin. “We also love dogs so it worked well!”

Pitch Coffee & dog perks

dog between tables ad dog-friendly cafe and gym

On the ground floor at the Dog House, you can find the lovely cafe Pitch Coffee, which opened just a couple of weeks ago and celebrated with a launch party this weekend. Pitch Coffee makes a glorious coffee and offers loads of healthy dishes – including vegan options – and drinks, counting smoothies! Add that, as Justin says, Faye and Petar [who run the cafe] are two of the nicest people you’ll meet.

What’s in for the dogs? “We have water and treats for all the dogs, also there are no rules about being on the sofa or begging for food at the Doghouse so they will be looked after!” says Justin. On top of that, the clever people at Pitch are currently putting together a dog menu, so the four-legged will soon be able to brunch with you.

Our visit at Dog House Fitness

dog treats jar

We visited the studio twice and we really liked the vibe and the friendliness of all the staff. Also, I was amazed by how cosy and pretty the place is. The first time we popped over, around lunch time over the weekend, we hadn’t the pleasure to meet any of the resident dogs, but Argo was secretly happy to be able to enjoy all the attention! He was soon treated some vegan dog treats by Veganvore, a local ethical brand that makes plant-based handmade tidits, by one of the box instructors.

On our second visit, although we missed the shenanigans of four dogs running around just before we arrived, we met met little sweet Larry, the rescue dog from Cayman Islands, who at times joins his owner to work at Pitch Coffee.

rescue dog in the arms of his owner
Larry the rescue dog

In general, all the people we met were super dog enthusiasts and we had many lovely dog chats. A paradise for Argo, who enjoyed playing around, eating treats (too many!) and receiving cuddles (never too many), especially at the change of hour, when people were got in and out from the studios, before/after their training sessions.

If spin was my thing, I would definitely become a regular! Instead, I will definitely be back some more healthy brunches with Argo.

Useful information

Dog House Fitness

Some useful information in case you are planning to join Dog House Fitness. It is open daily (6.15am-8.30pm on week days and 8am-4pm during the weekend). You can join their classes without any subscription fees. A single class is priced £18, but they also have a credits system, as well as weekly/monthly plans for cheaper rates.

If you don’t really fancy spin, box or stretch, you can always pop by at Pitch for a coffee or brunch instead.

Where: 1 Holbeach Mews, Balham, SW12 9QX
Nearest tube station: Balham underground station (Northern Line)


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