10 Tips for Running with Your Dog
Dogs have long been recognized as being great companions. They’re always happy to see you, and they have boundless energy. And most dogs absolutely love to get out of the house to explore. For all of these reasons, running with your dog makes a great deal of sense. And on those days that your motivation is lacking, your four-legged friend might be just the thing you need. But before you start running with your pet, there’s a few things you might want to consider.
The age of your dog makes a difference. Older dogs as well as younger puppies can damage their joints from running. Likewise, some breeds, like Great Danes, are prone to hip dysplasia that might be worsened by the sport. And others with short snouts may have difficulty breathing on fast or longer runs. Regardless, many dogs love running and can be a great running buddy. With that in mind, here are 10 things to consider if you’re thinking about running with your dog.
- Make a Quick Trip to the Vet
While this may not be necessary for all dogs, a quick trip to the vet might help guide you in the right direction. Making sure your pet’s health is up for exercise will provide good reassurance before you start running with your pet.
- A Little Training Goes a Long Way
In terms of training, this isn’t referring to running per se. Training here means making sure your pet can properly walk on a leash and follow key commands. This can make running with your dog so much more enjoyable for both of you.
- Get the Right Leash
Leashes that are too short or too long can be a problem when running with your pet. Ideally, a leash between 4 and 6 feet is the right length for most pet owners. This will allow your dog some freedom yet still keep them close enough to avoid others.
- Have a Poop Plan
If you’ve ever been running and stepped in a doggy landmine, you know the misery this can cause. Therefore, make sure you have a strategy for dealing with your dog’s not-so-unexpected behaviors. Likewise, try having your dog take care of business before you run.
- Flea and Tick Protection Is a Must
Running with your pet outside is wonderful. But there are also some risks. Fleas and ticks are among the most common ones. If you don’t have some type of flea and tick prevention, then consider investing in some before you begin running with your dog.
- Consider Paw Protection
Not all dogs need paw protection, especially if they are accustomed to running and distances are short. But other situations may require some advanced preparation. Various products exist for dogs including waxes and even booties. And make it a habit to regularly check your pet’s paws after your runs.
- Explore Trail Running Options
Who doesn’t like running on a good trail? This is a great option when running with your dog. Not only will your pet enjoy running on softer ground, but the natural environment will be energizing as well. Plus, it’s a great way for you to mix up your runs a bit.
- Warm-Ups Important for Your Dog Too
When it comes to warmups, your dog can benefit from a slow start. When running with your pet, take the first half-mile easy and allow their muscles and joints to loosen up a bit. This will naturally help avoid any unnecessary injuries.
- Hydration and Temperature Tips
Dogs have furry coats and obviously cannot sweat. Therefore, paying attention to the temperature when running with your dog is important. Likewise, dogs need a lot of water when they run long distances. So, make sure you plan accordingly when running with your pet.
- Praise and Reward
Right after you finished a long run, you probably aren’t ready for a snack. Neither is your dog. Instead, delay the treat until later, and instead, reward your pet with praise and petting. This will be much more appreciated by your furry friend.
Running with Your Pet Is Healthy for You Both
Believe it or not, about half of all dogs are considered to be overweight. Therefore, running with your dog might be a great thing to keep your pet in shape. Just like running boosts our cardiovascular wellness, it can do the same for your dog as well. By taking the right precautions, you can make sure running with your pet is both safe and healthy. And if so, you’ll benefit greatly from the many wonderful experiences you both can share while running together.