Running with your dog

April Accumulator Pink

We know our nation loves pets and amongst the favourite are our furry four-legged running pals, dogs.

Running with your dog is mutually beneficial, meaning you both get 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.

There are so many reasons why running with your dog is great, but before you fetch your trainers and dog lead and head out together, there are a few things to bear in mind:

1) While many dogs are suitable for short runs, do make sure you check whether your breed is OK to come along 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.

2) Don’t run before you can walk. Before you run together, ensure your dog walks well alongside you on a loose lead before you start training them to run alongside you.

3) Start small by running a few hundred metres with your dog by your side before building up distance gradually. Be careful if you venture 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.

4) As much as your lead means the dog won’t sprit off out of sight, it can be a big trip hazard. So take care when keeping your dog by your side and try to keep them on a short lead, not one that may end up with you wrapped around a tree in a heap. But remember if you’re feeling tired, they probably won’t be, so a little pull on the lead will keep you going.

5) If you’re out and about running in the dark and your dog is good 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 loose them in the dark and other walkers or runners can see them approaching.

6) 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.

7) 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!

Don’t worry if you’re not up for a run, taking the dog out for a walk can be equally as satisfying and help clear your head and give you a breath of fresh air.

Business Challenge

The AJ Bell Great Run Series Business Challenge is a great opportunity for businesses to engage in all-important team building or focus on charity fundraising.

Pick your event, gather your colleagues, enter your team, and join us on the start line!

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