Most medium to large dog breeds make excellent running partners, provided they are well-behaved. If you’re looking for a good running partner that won’t flake out on you, Fido just might be the perfect fit. Let’s look at a few things you’ll need to consider before taking your dog out for some fresh air and exercise.
Walk Before You Run!
Even Rover needs to learn to walk first! Your dog might not be used to walking on a leash, and she needs to figure that out before jogging. If not, you might end up getting tripped over the leash and injuring yourself.
Make sure your dog is well-behaved before attempting a jog. It’s important that your dog always walks on the same side (either right or left) and that they stay even with you or slightly behind you at all times. This training will keep your dog from getting ahead of you and pulling on your arm once you work your way up to a run.
Here’s some detailed and practical tips on making this training a success: https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/running-with-your-dog-how-to-train-fido-to-run-at-your-side/
Step 2: Choosing the right Leash
Once you’ve mastered controlling your dog during a walk, it might be time to consider an upgraded leash before attempting to run. Choose a sturdy leash of about 4 foot in length to make sure there is plenty of room for running without too much slack that would encourage your dog to wander. Remember, your goal is to keep your pet slightly behind you at all times so that she doesn’t think she is the pack leader. Once you’ve gotten that training done, hands-free leashes can make your jog way more fun. They fit around your waist and allow you to focus on running instead of holding onto a handle all the time.
Safety is important for both bipedal joggers and their furry friends. If you’re planning to jog after dark, make sure to wear reflective clothing and consider doing the same for your pet. Just keep in mind that dogs do not deal with heat the same way we do. They can’t perspire and their desire to please their owners sometimes overrules the need to stop and take a break. If it’s hot outside, opt for a reflective collar instead of a doggie coat.
Ticks: If you live pretty much anywhere in North America, Lyme disease seems to be a concern these days. After your run, check yourself and your pet thoroughly for ticks. Remove them properly and store them in a jar for a few months just in case a doctor needs to identify a particular health problem by studying the tics that bit you.
Traffic: If you plan to jog near or on an active road, be especially aware of vehicles. It’s not wise to jog with ear buds or headphones in general if you’re near traffic, but it is especially dangerous if you’re with your dog. You don’t know how your dog might react to traffic, and fear might cause them to make the wrong move at the wrong time.
Hydration: Water is essential for life and both you and your pet need to hydrate before and after your run. Dogs do not sweat. If you see excessive panting or your dog looks fatigued, then it might be time to seek shade and drink liquids.
Paws: Another major safety concern is your dog’s paws. Fido doesn’t have those nice new Nike running shoes to protect his feet like you do. Avoid areas with broken glass and remember that the pavement gets super-hot on sunny days. Consider investing in some canine booties if you plan to run when it’s cold out. Not only can their feet get cold but if they treat the roads with salt, it can be an irritant.
Running with your dog can be a great way to stay motivated and fit. Just remember to train first and stay safe.