It sounds fun, but how do you start to run with your dog? There are some things to make sure you know before you head out the door with your furry-legged friends and we are here to teach you how to run with your dog and help make runs with your dogs something that you both enjoy!
Taking your dog on a run is a great way to help you both keep fit at the same time. If you don’t have a regular running pal, your dog will never let you down and we’re pretty sure they’ll be glad to head out with you no matter the time, place or weather. They also offer good protection and might give you a confidence boost compared to running alone.
So yes, there are many great reasons why you should take your dog on a run but in terms of the actual logistics of how to run with your dog, do keep these things in mind:
While many dogs are suitable for short runs, do make sure you check whether your breed is OK to go on a run with you before you head out together. Not all dogs are made for running and the breed, and age, can also determine whether they are suited to longer steady runs or shorter bursts of activity.
Don’t run before you can walk. Before you take your dog on a run, ensure your dog walks well alongside you on a loose lead before you start training them to run alongside you.
Start small by running a few hundred metres with your dog by your side before building up distance gradually. Be careful venturing out with your dog, if they are a big sniffer. Running with them on the end of the lead can be a great way to keep up your speed, but be mindful of the stop-start habits when they pick up a scent.
A lead is great for keeping your dog safe and in sight whilst out on your run, but it can also be a big trip hazard. So, we recommend keeping your dog on a short lead, and not one that may end up with you wrapped around a tree in a heap. But remember even if you’re feeling tired – they probably won’t be, so a little pull on the lead will keep you going.
If you’re out and about running in the dark and you feel comfortable letting your dog off the lead, there are some great accessories you can buy for your dog that help light them up in the dark including flashing collars and even high vis coats. You’re less likely to lose them in the dark and other walkers or runners can see them approaching.
Make sure you’re both hydrated, your dog will get thirsty too. Remember if it’s a warm day to bring along a bottle of water for your dog to refuel if you stop for a break. And whilst a few jelly babies in your pocket is good for a long run, grab some dog treats too (just don’t put them in the same pocket). Be mindful of the weather, and don’t head out if the weather is too cold or too hot.
When you do finally get out running with your dog, be prepared after your run with the dog to have muddy trainers, legs and most likely, a muddy dog. Bring a towel not only for yourself but to clean and dry off the dog too. There is no better satisfaction than having tired legs and a snoozy dog that is worn out by your adventure before they’re ready to go again in the morning!
Now you know how to run with your dog but don’t worry if you’re not up for a run, taking the dog out for a walk can be just as fun and give you a breath of fresh air. And, when your dog doesn’t fancy running with you, recruit some friends or join a club and discover the benefits of running with others?