If you're like most dog owners, your four-legged friend is probably your running buddy. But even if you've been running with your dog for years, there are always fun ways to exercise with your dog. Here are five tips as per the experts on how to make the most out of running with a dog.
Get a good harness
A well-fitting harness is key to a comfortable run for your dog. Make sure the harness doesn't rub or chafe, and that it allows your dog to move freely without constricting its chest or belly. You may need to give several different brands a try before you find one that's perfect for your dog.
Choose the right route
When you're planning your route, take into account your dog's energy level and fitness level. If you're looking to get in shape by running with your dog, it's important to start slowly and gradually increase your distance. This will give your dog time to build up his or her endurance and avoid any injuries. You should also avoid running on routes with too much pavement, as this can be tough on your dog's paws. Instead, look for routes with dirt or grass, which will be easier on your dog's feet; hence you and your dog can enjoy a fun and healthy running routine together.
Stop for potty breaks
When you are running with your dog, it is important to remember that they need to take bathroom breaks just like you do. Try to stop every few miles so they can relieve themselves. If your dog doesn't have to go, you can keep running, but if they do, it is best to find a spot off the trail where they can do their business without disturbing other runners or hikers. Once they are finished, make sure to continue running at a consistent pace, so your dog doesn't get too tired. And always carry a baggie with you in case of emergencies!
Keep them hydrated
Dogs usually sweat through their paw pads, so it's important to keep them hydrated throughout your run. Bring along a collapsible bowl and offer water frequently, especially on hot days. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge if you're running in an area where there's no water available. However, there is a solution - pack some freeze-dried treats that will rehydrate upon contact with water. Just make sure that the treats don't have too much salt, as this can be harmful to your dog.
End on a high note
After a long run, it's tempting to just collapse on the couch and veg out for the rest of the day. But if you want your dog to be just as excited about running tomorrow as they are today, it's important to end on a positive note. Give them a good rubdown when you get home, feed them their favorite treat, and then let them know what a good boy or girl they are!
Whether you're a seasoned runner or just getting started, adding your dog to the mix can make running more enjoyable (and even improve your dog's health). Just be sure to take a few precautions to keep both of you safe and healthy while pounding the pavement. We hope these tips help get you out there with your furry friend—and that you enjoy every minute!