The Dos And Don’ts Of Running With Your Dog
You might be used to spending quality time with your pooch, doing everything from playful wrestling to hiking and exploring, but why not spice things up a bit? You can easily add a new activity to your busy schedule – running. Going on runs with your dog will be yet another activity you will share and use to bond even further. It will be more than that, though. You will improve both your and your dog’s stamina levels, shed a few pounds and generally feel healthier. Besides, it’s a great way to deal with some of those excess energy levels that your pooch might have.
Dogs make fantastic running partners for a number of reasons, as long as you have an athletic breed and not a toy dog that’s willing to do nothing else but sit in your lap and go for drives around the city the whole day. To begin with, pooches love nothing more than spending time with you, so they will eagerly follow you anywhere you go.
Secondly, they thrive on running around and being physically active, seeing as most athletic dog breeds have a high amount of energy – throw them a stick or a ball and they will sprint as fast as they can to catch it; try playing tag with them and they will be over the moon, disregarding the fact whether they are the ones chasing or running away. They might not initially understand why you are running without a specific purpose, but they will get used to it in no time. However, there are some things you should pay attention to when you’re out on the pavement running with your dog.
Here’s what you should know:
Get a suitable breed
As we’ve mentioned before, you probably shouldn’t get a Chihuahua or a Pekingese if you plan on going out for runs with your pet. These dogs were made to look good, act cute and that’s pretty much it. In other words, they are completely useless when it comes to more demanding physical activities. Instead, opt for German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Retrievers, Collies, etc. If you are determined to be a dog runner, select your breed accordingly.
Be careful if your dog is younger
You wouldn’t believe what damage the repetitive nature of running can do to their joints if they are young. You should wait until your dog is more than a year old before engaging in longer running sessions with them. Make sure to consult your vet if you need advice, as creating health problems for your dog is the last thing you want to do.
Get your dog in shape before running with them
Don’t expect a fat and lazy dog to happily join you on a 10-mile run. If they are used to cuddling on the couch all day, the idea of running would probably sound like this to them: “My human wishes me to run more than 2 minutes with him? He must want me dead.” They need to be healthy in order to run properly and they have to learn to love running to enjoy the time spent with you on the track. Start gently and then build them up.
Clean up behind your dog
Don’t be that person! Always carry a poop-a-scoop bag with you and follow the usual rules. Additionally, if your dog jumps into a puddle in the middle of your running session, clean them up first – not many people like when muddy dogs jump on them, no matter how much affection they display in the process.
Bring water for your dog too
This one is especially important if it’s very hot outside. While some experts argue that you shouldn’t run with your dog when it’s too hot, others claim that pooches will be absolutely fine outside, as long as they are well hydrated. Bring two bottles of water and leave one for your dog.
Make sure your dog is obedient
The last thing you need is for your dog to wander off after they notice something interesting and get themselves into some serious trouble. You can always keep them on a leash while running, but it would be so much better for them if they were completely free – a luxury that can be achieved only if your dog is trained and obedient.
Other than that, running with your dog is a wonderful experience – they will go wherever you go and take pleasure in every minute spent with you.