Jogging is incredibly good for your health and fitness — you can even burn up to 640 calories an hour depending on how fast you are moving. It is also a great way to help dogs get the exercise that they need. For high energy breeds like Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers and Jack Russell Terriers, going on a jog helps them burn off their excess energy so that they are calm when they get home. It is worth noting however, that jogging isn’t good for all breeds, such as lapdogs like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, or flat-faced breeds like Pugs. There are plenty of parks in New York that you can take dogs for a run, as well as out on the sidewalks, just make sure that you keep them on a leash.
The right dog leash
It is important that you get a suitable dog leash if you are jogging with your dog, especially if they get very excited. For larger breeds that tend to pull, you might find that a Halti-style harness that fits around the nose, will stop them from pulling too hard or lunging if they smell something that is irresistible. Another option is a good sturdy harness that fits around their body — there are some brands that come with a handle on the back in case you need to stop and wait at traffic lights. You can also get a specialized sports leash that fits around your waist so that you have your hands free. It is not advisable to jog with your dog on an extendable leash, especially in built up areas, or if you are somewhere with a lot of other dogs around, because they do tend to get tangled up if the dogs stop to greet one another.
Warm up and warm down
When you exercise, it is essential that you do some stretches to warm up. The same is also true for your dog, you shouldn’t just start running without giving them the opportunity to warm up too. Try some figure 8s with him first and get him to change positions from standing to sitting and lying down a few times in quick succession. You can also get them to reach up by standing on their back legs (a treat usually helps with this trick), it will help stretch their back leg muscles. Nose to side body stretches are another good warm up exercise. Both at the start and end of your jog, make sure that your dog gets at least 10 minutes of loose-leash walking as part of your routine.
Combining a good cause with jogging
For those of you who are not ready to make the commitment to get a dog, there are plenty of dog rescues and nonprofits that allow for fostering where you can help exercise the pups. You can also see if a local shelter requires dog walking/running for more active dog breeds that would really benefit from the much needed exercise (running and stretching the legs and body long and over time is a need for some dog breeds). There are also various charities that have walk a thons or other outdoor fundraisers where you can run with a dog (and both help support a good cause).
Sniffing vs. Jogging
We all know the dogs that are more sniffers and slow walkers as opposed to those that like to jog. Be sure if you have a dog that could go jogging either way that they know the difference between a jog walk and a sniffing walk. Ask a local trainer to help your dog differentiate between the two for your dog so that your dog is clear what is expected on the jog.
Jogging in New York
New York can sometimes be overwhelming with noise and people, both for you and your dog. Choose the quieter neighborhoods to jog around and make sure that you plan your route in advance. If it is the first time that you have taken your dog jogging, just go a short distance and build this up a little every time you go out. Ultimately your priority is keeping your dog safe, so make sure that you are vigilant of your surroundings and don’t overdo it. Jogging with your dog is a wonderful way of bonding. You can improve your health and fitness together and your dog will have great fun.