Ever find it difficult to find the motivation to get off the couch to run or walk? Fetch yourselves your furry friends! Here are a few tips to keeping your doggo happy and healthy when running with you!
1) Vet Check: Not every dog is built for running, and we all know that they’re good for a walk any time of day. However, you should clear it with your vet to see that there are no problems that will occur during your workout. For example, some dogs have a little more weight on them than others, be sure that they aren’t at risk for hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and arthritis. We all want to be sure that there are also no cardiovascular risks either. So, check in with your vet to be sure everyone has a clean bill of health.
2) Watch where you’re running: While most runners run on pavement, your pup’s joints take impact just as much as yours. We all know how that feels after a long run, but to your pup, they don’t have the advantage of protecting their paws and joints with shoes. So, be sure to try and keep them more on grass or trails. Be aware that in the warmer months pavement can heat up and burn your pup’s paws, so be sure to feel the pavement with your hand to check before going out.
3) Take breed into consideration: The average dog can run anywhere between 2 & 5 miles. Breeds are built for different types of running, much like people, some can handle sprints, while others handle endurance. For longer runs consider breeds that don’t have pushed in snouts (i.e. bulldogs, pugs, etc.) or have shorts stature (i.e. dachshunds, corgis, etc.).
4) Check your dog’s equipment: Collars and leashes are just as much a part of your dog’s running equipment as your running apparel, shoes, socks, and insoles. Be sure that you are making sure that their harness or collars so that they are not chaffing during your runs, as you know chaffing is painful enough for humans, so don’t allow your dog to experience that. Avoid using retractable leashes, you need to have control of your furry buddy, use a shorter leash or a waist leash while running. This way you maintain control.
5) Teach your dog running manners: You want control of your own run, but if you’re planning on bringing your pup, be sure that you have some control over them too. Just like when you’re running on the road, be sure that you and your dog go AGAINST the flow of traffic, and have them learn to ‘heel’ on your left side to keep them on the inside half the street. Also, be sure to teach commands such as ‘this way’ or ‘turn’ to allow your dog to follow your route properly without pulling you in the wrong direction. You want to stay on route, and if they’re pulling that will prove to be more difficult. Manners for running humans are important, so have be sure to teach your dog the rules of running on the road too!
Dogs are wonderful partners and they can be wonderful for running too! Give them a chance to motivate you on the harder days, and keep them heart healthy and active! Go on, run with your furry buddy, you won’t regret it.