6 Tips for Running with Your Dog or Puppy
I like to run with my dog every now and then to give him some exercise. I feel like it helps us grow closer together too. I know he loves getting out and stretching his legs, and I wanted to share with you some of the tips I have picked up along the way. Maybe you haven’t started running with your dog yet and want to give it a try, or you simply want to get better at it. Either way, hopefully these tips for running with your dog are helpful!
- Give your dog some breaks
Now, I’m no champion jogger, but I can go for a while before needing to take a break. My dog can usually go longer than me, but I know that’s not true for everyone. I have run with some friends who gave their dogs a break every fifteen minutes or so, depending on the breed. It’s good to know your dog’s limits and give them a break and water when they need it.
- Train your dog before taking them on a public run
You have to train your dog before you take them out to run where other people and dogs will be present. You want to be sure your dog doesn’t go running off when they see a squirrel or start barking at strangers for no good reason. I’ve had both of those happen before, but the most common problem definitely has to be poor interactions with other dogs. I think it helps to take your dog on short trial runs before attempting anything very long. See how your dog does around the neighborhood and help your dog to understand that running time is only for running and not for chasing.
Related: How To Train Your Dog For Hiking
- Watch the surfaces
You may be able to run on pretty much any surface in your shoes, but you have to think about your dog’s paws:
- Is the asphalt too hot?
- Is the ground too wet or muddy?
- Are you giving your dog a comfortable surface for him to run on?
These are the questions you should be asking. Pay attention to your dog’s comfort levels and check with him occasionally to see if he is doing okay. You should always play it safe if you have any doubts and choose the most comfortable running surface you can for your dog. One thing that can help is to run near a soft or cool surface. So, if you want to go on a running track, try to pick one that has grass right beside it, for example.
- Keep your dog hydrated
You may remember to bring your own personal bottle of water to stay hydrated for long runs, but did you think to bring water for your dog? You may not want him to drink out of your same bottle, so you can either bring him a separate water container or run somewhere that has access to fresh water for him to use. I like to run by the creek near my home so that my golden retriever can stop and take a drink whenever he likes. He also enjoys getting down in the water and cooling his whole body off, and I always get a kick out of watching him play in the water.
- Bring poop cleanup tools
Your dog is an animal, and you can expect him to do his business wherever he sees fit when you are out and about. If it is someplace public, then you will likely need to bring something to clean it up. Now, if you want to run out in the countryside or on a state park walking trail, then it’s not usually an issue when your dog decides to relieve himself, but just about anywhere else is going to necessitate a cleanup. Be sure to plan space for your poop pickup tools with your running supplies.
- Give your dog a suitable diet for running
How often do you like to run? That’s the question you need to answer to determine if you need to change your dog’s diet up for running. If you only run a couple times a week, then the typical diet of dog food twice a day will probably be fine for your pooch. If you are a person who runs every day, however, then you should probably up your dog’s protein and carbohydrate intake. He’ll need that extra energy and muscle to keep up with you.
Remember, generally you shouldn’t start running with your puppy before they turn six months. If you do, you could run the risk of negatively impacting his growing joints and muscles. Once your puppy is over six months and looks ready, a good rule of thumb is to only work out for five minutes exercise per month of age. However, it’s extra important that you feed your puppy a nutritious diet that’s slightly higher in fat if you are running together regularly.
It can be very rewarding to bring your dog out for runs with you. You’ll feel like you both got some exercise, and it’s great to have that companionship. Just keep these tips in mind to ensure that your run is a pleasant one.
This blog was contributed by Emma Williams. If you would like to submit a blog please email firstname.lastname@example.org