Man’s best workout buddy. 7 Tips for Running with Your Dog
Just as humans need exercise, it’s important for your furry-legged friend to get their physical on as well. So why not get out together and work out? There is no doubt that your pooch has a ton of energy to spend the great outdoors with you, so get out there together and have fun! For those of you that might not know where to start, here are seven awesome tips to get started.
1. Consider your dog’s breed
Before leashing up your furry friend, you might want to consider their breed, health, and personality. Older dogs and dogs with shorter legs might have difficulty keeping up because of joint problems. Same with younger pups. Developing the joints and bones of young puppies can be harmful to their health. Also, brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs have a harder time breathing when they work too hard. When in doubt, check in with your vet to inquire about your dog’s health and safety.
2. Examine the weather
If you live in a city where extreme heat is common, you might want to reconsider having them tag along. Heated roads and sidewalks can take a toll on their paws and even burn them. Same with wet and cold areas. Consider snow boats for their little feet, and be sure you have them on leash in foggy, hazy weather when drivers’ vision is minimal.
3. Start slow
Especially if your dog isn’t a running dog, you might want to start slow and moderate. Just as humans take it easy when they get into the groove of working out, it’s the same with dogs. Always warm up with slow jogging and stretching before taking longer strides.
4. Plan for breaks
Taking water breaks along with poop breaks are important. Keep an eye on your dog while running to see if water is needed, and don’t forget to clean up after them. This is especially essential in hot or sunny weather. Bring along a container of water or a collapsible bowl for your pup. In addition, if you’re planning on giving treats, try not to give them to them early in your workout.
5. Head for the trails
Trails are great for running with your pup. Dirt trails especially are easier on your dog’s paws and joints, plus they’ll appreciate taking in natural sights, smells, and sounds. Check if the trail requires a leash, but be aware of your dog’s personality and how well they take commands.
6. Pay attention to warning signs
Always keep an eye out for your dog, whether it their breathing or a small injury. Check their paws for cuts and be more careful on trails with rocks, dangerous plants, and uneven terrain.
7. Have fun!
This one’s the most important! Exercising together should be enjoyable and important for both your health and happiness. Once you’ve mastered on and off-leash with your dog, keep it up!