Michael Phelps and Other Sports Figures on How Their Dogs 'Energize' and 'Support' Them (Exclusive)

Michael Phelps, Olivia Dunne and Erin Andrews share how their canines keep them happy, healthy and competitive.

<p>Purina Pro Plan</p> Michael Phelps running with his dog, Onyx

Purina Pro Plan

Michael Phelps running with his dog, Onyx
  • Michael Phelps, Lolo Jones, Olivia Dunne, Erin Andrews, and their dogs have partnered with Purina Pro Plan for a new docuseries called Fueled Byx

  • Fueled By explores how the sports pros care for their dogs and how their pets care for them

  • Phelps reveals that his dog Onyx keeps him competitive outside of the pool with regular footraces

Michael Phelps is the world's most decorated Olympian, but there's someone who regularly outraces him: his Great Dane Onyx.

"When we're out running, she always wants to be faster than you. She always wants to get ahead of me," Phelps tells PEOPLE. "She's so super strong, so I have to let her win."

Onyx and Phelps, 39 — along with Lolo Jones, Olivia "Livvy" Dunne, Erin Andrews, and their pups — recently partnered with Purina Pro Plan. Together, the sports figures and their dogs star in Fueled By, a new docuseries highlighting how the athletes use Purina Pro Plan to care for their pups and how their pets care for them.

"She just fuels me to be able to be the best me. And I think that competitiveness I'll never lose," Phelps says of how Onyx keeps his competitive fire alive after his Olympic career.

<p>Jason DeCrow/AP Content Services for Purina Pro Plan</p> From left: Erin Andrews, Michael Phelps, and Olivia Dunne

Jason DeCrow/AP Content Services for Purina Pro Plan

From left: Erin Andrews, Michael Phelps, and Olivia Dunne

When she isn't encouraging Phelps to race her on foot, Onyx inspires her pet parent to take care of his mental health.

"She's somebody that can sense my feelings and emotions and understand when I'm having a good or bad day," Phelps shares.

"It's the simple things like her just coming and giving me love — just nudging me. It's her telling me she's there to support and help me. Those small things mean so much," he adds.

<p>Purina Pro Plan</p> Michael Phelps and his Great Dane, Onyx

Purina Pro Plan

Michael Phelps and his Great Dane, Onyx

Dunne, a Louisiana State University gymnast, understands this feeling of support well because her pup, Roux, also provides it daily.

"She supports me in anything I do. I could literally be on the couch, and she's on top of me. I could be working out; she's right next to me, trying to crawl under my arms. She's awesome," Dunne, 21, says.

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There is one thing Roux has trouble getting behind.

"She gets confused when I go upside down. Whenever I do handstands, she always tries to walk under my hands," the gymnast shares.

<p>Purina Pro Plan</p> Olivia Dune with her dog, Roux

Purina Pro Plan

Olivia Dune with her dog, Roux

Originally, Dunne planned to get the dog, an English cream retriever, with her boyfriend, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes, and have the canine split time between Louisiana and Pennslyvania. But Dunne admits that she fell in love with Roux, so the dog lives with her, and the pair take regular road trips to visit Skenes in Pittsburgh.

"She energizes me. She has so much energy herself. She gets me off the couch. We run around in the backyard, we go on walks, and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I'm always cooped up in the gym doing flips. She brings me outside more, and I think that's super special," Dunne adds.

Related: Michael Phelps Says Cate Campbell Missing Out on 2024 Olympics Shows 'How Cutthroat' the Trials Are: 'Younger Generation Is Really Hungry' (Exclusive)

Andrews, 46, says her pup, golden retriever Howie, helped her understand the energy needed to be a parent.

"Even though he's not a baby — and I get it, a baby's a whole other level — we treat Howie like a human. Everything, much like a baby, is a schedule for our dog," Andrews says, adding that keeping Howie on his schedule and cleaning up his messes prepared her and her husband, Jarret Stoll, for being parents to their son Mack.

<p>Purina Pro Plan</p> Erin Andrews and Howie

Purina Pro Plan

Erin Andrews and Howie

Now that Mack is here, Howie is learning to love having a baby brother.

"I think Mack eating solids and dropping the food has really helped the relationship," Andrews says.

The Fox sportscaster adds that Howie provides affection and attention to every family member despite their busy schedules.

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"He's the blonde pillow that you always need, whether you want just to chill out and hang out with him, whether you need a little bit of emotional support, whether you need to unwind, whether you need to go take a walk and you want your best friend to come with you. Companionship, love, friendship, all of it," she says.

Animal lovers can learn even more about how the dogs of sports professionals take care of their famous owners, but watch Purina Pro Plan's Fueled By docuseries. For every view of the Fueled By docuseries on proplansport.com between July 1 and Oct. 31, 2024, will donate $1 (up to $150,000) to Athletes for Animals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting homeless pets.

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Read the original article on People.