You can train your dog to perform a variety of tasks, such as running alongside you while you jog or go for a run. It is a good idea to start with smaller distances and work up to longer ones as your dog becomes more accustomed to running with you. Here are nine useful tips for running with dogs:
1. Consider Your Dog Breed, Health, and Age
Before taking your dog out for a run, it is essential to consider their breed, health, and age.
For example, small breeds like Pugs, Frenchies, and Shih Tzus are not built for long-distance running and may overheat quickly. On the other hand, breeds like Greyhounds are built for speed and can handle longer distances.
Regardless of breed, all dogs should be in good health before being taken on a run. So make sure to check with your veterinarian first.
Another factor you should consider is your dog’s age. Puppies and senior dogs may not be able to handle the same distance or pace as adult dogs.
Puppies’ growth plates are still developing, and too much exercise can cause problems later in life. So it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the distance as they age.
Older dogs may have joint problems that make running difficult. So again, starting slow and listening to your dog’s cues is important. If they are struggling, stop and rest.
2. Get Your Dog Used to Running
Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, the same goes for your dog.
If you are new to running or your dog has never been on a run before, it is important to get them used to it slowly.
Start by walking with your dog for a few minutes to get them used to the concept of running with you. Then, you can start slowly adding in short bursts of jogging.
You can increase the distance and pace as they get more comfortable.
Don’t try too much too soon, as this can lead to injuries or make your dog lose interest in running with you.
3. Invest in the Right Gear
Investing in the right gear for you and your dog can make running more enjoyable.
For example, getting a good pair of running shoes will help you avoid injuries and will make running more comfortable.
You may also want to invest in a running leash and harness specifically designed for running. These leashes are usually 2 to 3 meters and have a clip that attaches to your waist, which frees up your hands.
Also, ensure you have plenty of water for your dog and yourself. Bring along some portable water bottles so you and your dog can rehydrate throughout your run.
4. Find the Right Place to Run
Not all running routes are created equal, and it is important to find a safe and enjoyable place for you and your dog.
Off-leash parks or trails are the best places to run with your dog. These places provide plenty of room for your dog to explore and run around without being restricted.
Make sure to avoid busy roads or sidewalks as these can be dangerous for you and your dog.
If you are unsure of where to go, ask other dog owners in your area or do some research online.
5. Be Prepared for Anything
When you are out running with your dog, it is important to be prepared for anything that might happen.
Make sure you have your dog’s ID tags on them in case they get lost.
It is also a good idea to bring along some cash in case you need to buy anything while you are out.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to have your phone with you in case of an emergency.
Finally, make sure you know the route you are taking and be aware of any potential hazards. This includes things like hot pavement, sharp objects, or bodies of water.
If you are prepared for anything that might happen, you will be able to relax and enjoy your run with your dog.
6. Be Prepared for Potty Stops
When running with your dog, it is important to be prepared for potty stops. This means bringing along some poop bags and stopping when your dog wants to relieve themselves. In addition, it’s important to clean up after your dog to be a responsible owner even if that means your run takes a bit longer.
7. Reward Good Behavior
Whenever your dog does something good while running such as staying by your side or not pulling on the leash, it is important to reward them.
This can be something as simple as a treat or verbal praise. This will help reinforce good behavior and make your dog more likely to do it again in the future.
8. Stop if Your Dog Is Struggling
If at any point during your run, you notice that your dog is struggling, it is important to stop.
This could be because they are over-heated, tired, or injured.
If you notice any of these signs, it is best to stop running and give your dog a break.
9. Have Fun and Be Patient
One of the most important things to remember when running with your dog is to have fun and be patient.
Rome was not built in a day and it will take some time for you and your dog to get into a running routine.
Don’t get discouraged if things are not perfect at first and just enjoy spending time with your furry friend. With a little bit of time and practice, you will be able to enjoy running with your dog.