Dexcom bets puppies plus yoga equals joy in diabetes mental health awareness push

There is evidence that yoga helps lift depressive symptoms and that spending time with dogs has mental health benefits. So, what could be better for our minds than doing yoga with dogs?

That’s the thinking behind the latest campaign by Dexcom, which is hosting a day of “Puppy Yoga” classes as part of its push to raise awareness of the mental health burdens of living with diabetes. 

Dexcom has deployed a plethora of marketing tools in its fight for market share with Abbott, signing up multiplatinum recording artist Nick Jonas as a spokesperson and running ads during the Super Bowl in a bid to drum up interest in its continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices. 

Now, Dexcom has found a new weapon: puppies. The medtech company is teaming up with Puppy Yoga London to offer free classes on June 17. Across three, one-hour sessions, people living with diabetes and the broader public will have the chance to do yoga while hanging out with puppies. Puppy Yoga London aims to have one puppy for every three people at its classes.

The first class, registration for which has already closed, will be with the model Roxy Horner and rugby player Henry Slade, both of whom created custom CGM patches as part of a Dexcom campaign last year. Horner was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly before turning 30 and discussed her experience and the role dogs played in it, in Dexcom’s statement.

“It certainly caused me to struggle with my mental health. I had to wrap my head around an entirely new way of life,” Horner said. “Coincidentally, I adopted my Cavapoo, Coco, the same week as my diagnosis and she’s been the most incredible friend and emotional support buddy.” Horner called the upcoming yoga sessions an opportunity to “de-stress with some puppy cuddles together.”

Dexcom generated data to support anecdotal reports of the mental health burdens of diabetes by polling 1,000 people living with the condition in the U.K. The survey, which covered people with Type 1 and 2 forms of the condition, found 84% of respondents agreed having diabetes can negatively impact mental health.

The puppy yoga push comes as Dexcom works to grow sales of its latest CGM. Dexcom launched the G7 device in the U.K. late last year and brought it to the U.S. market months later. The launches helped the company to break its record for new users in the first quarter.