Running is exhilarating, refreshing and quite the workout. These are all great reasons to share the experience with your dog!
Follow these do's and don'ts to ensure you both enjoy the run.
It's tempting to let your dog run loose as you're out for a run, however, this may not be the best idea for all involved. Ideally, your dog should be slightly closer to you on a run than they would be if you were out for a walk. Their nose should be near your knees and by your side. This keeps them in pace with you and out of harm's way. An awesome idea is to consider a running belt. These are a great way to keep them close by, on a leash and allow your hands to be free to stride it out as you run. Running belts for dog owners are a great invention and a great hands-free dog leash option.
Avoid running in the midday heat with your dog. Dog's wear a fur coat year round, and do not sweat as we do, so they tend to overheat before humans. Be careful if it's warm out and watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Some large cities like Los Angeles offer cooling centers for pet owners and their dogs but only for certain days and hours so be sure to check with your county to be sure.
Running with your dog is a great way to exercise together. Your dog won't be able to tell you when they are thirsty, so take frequent water breaks until you learn how much and how often they need water. Bring a portable water bowl so that they can easily drink from- several companies make collapsible water bowls that are perfect for this.
At the end of a fantastic run, you're pumped and can't wait to treat your dog for that great run. Don't offer the treat too soon. Allow them time to catch their breath, drink water and calm down just a bit. You probably don't eat right after running, and they shouldn't either. It can make their stomachs upset.
It's always a great idea to talk to your veterinarian about your plans of staying fit with your dog. They will review your dog's health and offer suggestions and ideas for enjoying this new sport together!
It's especially important to pay attention to signs your dog may be showing. They can't tell you how they are feeling, so stay in tune with their body signals. Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, lethargy, weakness, and overexertion. Seek professional help if you suspect any of this.
Running with your dog is fun and rewarding. You both will enjoy the exercise, the outdoors, and each other's company. Look for signs that your dog is enjoying it as well. These could be a tail wagging afterwards or waiting for you at the door when they see you slip on your running shoes.
Running with your dog is a great way to get outside together. As a bonus, staying fit with your dog will ensure you always have a running buddy that's ready to go. Consider a hands-free dog leash such as a running belt to make the run easier for the both of you. Always pay attention to your dogs needs while on your run and you will continue to be able enjoy running together for years to come. If running isn’t something you can easily fit into your lifestyle, consider hiring a dog walker to take your dog out for some fresh air and exercise.
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