Dog lovers know that running with their canine companion can be both rewarding and beneficial. Not only do you get a great workout, but your dog also gets some exercise – something that’s vital for their health and well-being. Plus, running with your dog creates a strong bond that can be incredibly beneficial for both of you.
But before you take the plunge, there are a few things you need to know. Keep reading to learn more.
Tips for Running with Your Dog
Most dogs are naturally runners and love to chase a running prey. While many people think running with their dog is a lot of fun, it’s actually an exercise that can be harmful if not done correctly. Before you start running with your dog, make sure you’re aware of some of the common tips for running with your pup.
Follow these tips to make your running experience with your dog fun and successful:
Make sure your dog is up to the task
Your dog’s age, weight, and fitness level will all impact how much they can partake in running sessions together. If your pup is under one year old or if they are significantly overweight, then it’s best not to engage in any running activity together at all.
Likewise, if your dog is out of shape and not comfortable taking short breaks while jogging or biking, they may struggle more than usual when attempting this type of activity with you.
Don’t start them too young
Running with puppies less than six months is not recommended because they are not yet physically prepared for the strenuous activity. Typically, dogs between six and twelve months old are ready to start running together. This is when the cartilage in their joints has healed and they’ve had time to develop good muscle tone. Start your puppy off slowly by taking them on short walks around the block.
Gradually increase their distance as they become more conditioned and experienced. Be sure to always keep an eye on them and provide plenty of water, food and breaks along the way. Never run with a puppy if they are not fully vaccinated; it is also important to be aware of local regulations concerning running with animals.
Make sure your leash is long enough to allow both of you plenty of range to run without pulling hard on the leash
If your dog is well behaved and doesn’t pull, consider purchasing a harness instead of a leash. Harnesses keep your dog closer to you while running, limiting their distance from you and creating a more comfortable running experience for both you and your dog.
Make sure your dog is well-trained
Before you start running with your dog, it’s important to make sure that he is properly trained and behaved. This means knowing basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. If you’re not familiar with training your dog, consult with a professional or pet store staff member before getting started.
Don’t skip warmup
Before you hit the pavement, make sure you do a proper warm-up. A gradual warm-up will help to avoid any injuries and ensure that your dog is enjoying themselves as much as possible.
Start by walking your dog in a calm environment. This way they know what to expect when you start running and they’ll be less likely to pull on the leash or start running themselves. Once your dog is comfortable walking around, start by increasing the pace gradually
Choose the right running route
Find a route that is safe for both you and your dog, and that you are both comfortable running on. Avoid steep hills or paved paths that can cause your dog to become overheated or winded quickly. Choose a route that is mostly gravel or dirt so your dog can have plenty of traction.
Be sure to keep your dog’s energy level up by providing lots of positive reinforcement when they’re behaving smoothly during runs. Be patient with them – like with children, some dogs may take longer to warm up than others. And finally, never force your dog to run if they’re not interested in it – let them take their time and run at their own pace.
Things You Need To Run With Your Dog
Here are some of the items that you’ll need to run safely with your furry friend:
- A Leash
This is essential for keeping your dog close by and safe. Make sure the leash is long enough so that you can keep a good grip on it, and make sure it’s fitted properly so your dog doesn’t pull too hard.
- A Harness
Harnesses are a great way to keep your dog safe while they’re running. This type of collar attaches directly to your dog’s chest, waist, or shoulders, which helps restrain them while running and reduces the risk of injury. Harnesses come in many different styles and sizes, so find one that fits both you and your pup comfortably.
- A Sizeable Water Bottle and Water Dish
Bringing a water bottle with you when you go for a run is a great way to stay hydrated, but make sure you also have access to a reliable source of clean water if your pet gets thirsty while out on the trail. Running dogs are prone to getting dehydrated quickly, so be sure to bring enough.
- Tick Protection
Tick bites are a major concern for people running with their dogs, and having something like a tick collar will help protect you and your pet from these parasites. Most tick collars have some type of deterrent that will keep ticks off of your pet. These collars range in price, so make sure you do your research before making a purchase.
- Poop Bags
When out running with your dog, you need to be prepared for any and all emergencies. This means having poop bags ready to go. Make sure you have a combination of large and small poop bags on hand in case one size is not enough. Buy several types so that you are always prepared.
Running is an excellent way to get your dog moving and exercise, but there are a few things you need to know before you start running with your pet.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable in a harness and knows how to respond when it’s being pulled.
- Secondly, ensure that you have plenty of water and snacks on hand.
- Don’t skip warmup
- Choose a comfortable trail for your dog
- Have all the necessary equipment such as a leash, water dish, and tick protection
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.