Going out for a run with your dog can be an excellent way to stay motivated and get in shape. Dogs are natural athletes, and unlike other exercise partners they will never complain or make you feel insecure about your fitness.
You and Your Dog Will Benefit from Running
Running with dogs benefits not only your health, but the health of your pet as well. Regular exercise reduces the chance of canine obesity, and helps build strong muscles and joints.
Exercise also provides intellectual stimulation for your pet, which can reduce boredom and destructive habits like chewing, barking, or digging. Running with a dog helps maintain the bond between the two of you. In addition, dogs that stay active are happier and more well-behaved than those who have no activities to keep them occupied.
Many resources exist to help you get started jogging with your dog. Some blogs are dedicated to the topic of how to run with your dog, and many running magazines routinely feature dog-related articles.
Some Tips for Running With Your Dog
Tip #1. Ease your dog into your running schedule over time. Just as you would not start your running regime with a 5K sprint, your dog should not be worked too hard right away. Jogging with a dog for a few minutes before starting a full-speed run helps keep you both limber.
Tip #2. Bring plenty of water and a bowl for your pet to drink from on the trail.
Tip #3. Prior to beginning any running routine with your pet, consult with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is fit enough for rigorous exercise.
Should You Consider Running Gear for Dogs?
Depending on the conditions where you go jogging with dogs, your dog may benefit from protective clothing like dog running shoes. There are many types of running gear for dogs including running shoes for dogs, protective sweaters, even a special running harness for dogs or a running dog leash to help keep your pet safely attached to you.
Running dog shoes help protect pets from hard ground, hot asphalt, or rocky mountain trails.
Take Time to Get A Dog That Fits Your Active Lifestyle
If you are considering adopting a new dog, take your own activity level into consideration. People with very active lifestyles can benefit from adopting a pet with similar activity needs. When you go to the shelter or breeder, let them know that you are “interested in running with my dog” so that they can help you pick the best pet for your lifestyle.
Some dogs are more suited to different types of exercise than others. For example, according to a recent study by Runners World Greyhounds and Beagles are well-suited to sprints, while Poodles and Dalmatians are best for longer runs.
Regardless, most dogs are athletic and can benefit from running with their owners.
Certain breeds of dogs are not a good choice for running companions. Small breeds or those with short legs like Dachsunds and Basset Hounds are not very good at running, but can still benefit from regular exercise. Pugs, Bulldogs and other short-nosed breeds may also have a hard time with strenuous exercise.
By taking the time to match your dog’s fitness level with your own, you can find an eager and enthusiastic fitness buddy for life. Dogs can keep you motivated to continue exercising and are always happy to keep you company no matter where you go.
Even if your dog is not a breed suited to running, you can still engage in physical activity with your pet that will keep you both fit and active. You might take a long walk with your small dog, or take up a canine agility hobby like Frisbee.
Whether you choose mountain trails or city streets, when you run with your dog it can keep you both fit and happy for many years to come.