When running, it is nice to have a companion to run with, regardless if your companion runs on two or four legs. Many dog owners consider their pet as a great running companion because it motivates them to run and provides them with a sense of security. However, before even taking your dog out the door for your run, it is important to consider the following tips:
1. Know if your dog breed is suited for running.
Different breeds of dogs are known for their various characteristics such as being a lap dog, guard dog or a sports dog. Know what type of dog you have because there are breeds that are not suitable for running. For instance, the Border Collie may not be ideal as a running companion because they are prone to developing hip dysplasia which can be aggravated by running. Other dogs such as Bulldogs may also be prone to overheating and respiratory problems. Small breeds like the Teacup Pomeranian may also not be the best dog to take for a run because they would rather sit on your lap and be cuddled.
2. Consider your dog’s age.
Puppies are normally full of energy and you may think that you could already start training your puppy to run with you. But puppies are still growing and developing their bones and strenuous running may affect their development.
3. Secure a medical clearance for your pet.
Even if your dog is suited for running, your vet is still your ultimate source of information or authority on whether your dog should run or not. This is especially necessary if your pet is used to a sedentary lifestyle and it is your first time to take it out for a run for several miles.
4. Keep your dog on a leash.
It is important to keep your dog on a leash so that you can have full control over it. While your dog may obey your voice commands, other runners may not be very confident or comfortable seeing you with an unleashed dog. There have been many reported cases of unleashed dogs attacking other runners. Also, dogs are easily distracted and can go off-track without their leash.
5. Consider where you are running.
While you are wearing a pair of comfortable shoes, your dog is not. Debris and concrete roads are hazardous to dogs especially during summer when the surface gets too hot. Debris could also get trapped in their paws. Also, if your dog is prone to licking, toxic chemicals found on roads may be dangerous for your dog. It is best to run with your dog in a flat surface, early in the morning when the sun is not yet extremely hot.
6. Allow your dog a time to adapt to running.
Don’t take your dog on a three-mile run on your first time running together. It is best to take your dog for some walks first and slowly introduce running before going for a mile or two. This can help build up their stamina for running long distances.
7. Notice signs of exhaustion and overheating.
Dogs do not sweat and they only dissipate heat by panting. If your dog starts to slow down and is excessively panting, stop for a while and give your dog a drink.
Before even taking your dog out the door for a run, it is best to consider these helpful running tips for your pet. They can help make your running experience enjoyable and beneficial both for you and your dog.