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Spas & Retreats

RETREAT for owners and pets. Yes, really

With new fitness regimes and workouts evolving constantly, why should man’s best friend be missing out? If you’ve been waiting for a boot camp for dogs and their owners, wait no further. Walkies? They’re so last year.


On 15th November, boutique weight-loss boot camp NuBeginnings will be holding the UK’s first ever joint Dog-Human week-long retreat. Well-being expert and director of NuBeginnings Victoria Wills believes that it shouldn’t just be humans who are given the chance to lose weight.

Victoria has tackled and overcome weight issues herself, having lost nearly half of her once 300lbs with the programme. NuBeginnings offers its visitors a week course of hypnotherapy sessions, yoga, Pilates, hiking and food planning, and has seen an average weight loss of 9lbs-13lbs for women.

That’s all very well, but are you thinking a dog retreat sounds a bit… barking? Don’t judge it too soon; with owner’s bad habits often being reflected in their pets, in the UK alone 25 per cent of our four-legged friends are overweight. Just like us, if a dog’s weight is kept under control, their life expectancy can increase, in some cases to an additional two years.


With mince pies and baubles already appearing in shops, you may be looking to shed a few pounds for the holiday season. If you and your dog are free that week (having both checked your schedules, of course), this could be a fun and successful way of doing just that. There’s also a New Year detox week retreat running in February 2014, because dog boot camps aren’t just for Christmas now are they?


Prices for the camp start at £2,900 per week (now that’s unconditional love) for luxury accommodation, all organic meals and a personal timetable which includes 4-6 individual sessions (massages, hypnotherapy…) in the week and 4-5 group activities daily (zumba, core abs, beach fitness, the list goes on). If that wasn’t enough, each dog will receive a health assessment, doggy massage and physio, training and grooming, as well as a nutritional plan tailored to breed. By the looks of things, Bruce the pug (above), is certainly a fan.

lydia headshotLydia Jones blogs at

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