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Training for a marathon with just yourself can be an arduous task. Planning to take your pup with you on a marathon can be even more difficult. However, running with your pet is an excellent bonding activity for every pup and parent duo. Not only is exercise great for the health of you and your pet, but it can also lead to fewer behavioral issues and a trimmer pet, which can help solve health issues in the long run. If you’re planning on bringing your furry friend along with you on your next marathon, there are a few ways to stay aware and prepared to keep you and your dog safe. Here is a quick checklist of the various ways you should plan before running a marathon with your pup. 

Do a Health Check 

Just like for any human looking to start running, making sure your pet is healthy enough to start running with you is essential. The first thing you should focus on before taking your dog running with you is to ensure their safety by making sure they are healthy enough to train with you. Before taking them on any long runs, get them checked out by a vet. Having a veterinarian clear your pup for outdoor running is an excellent way to ensure their health and safety.

Some breeds, like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, are much more likely to have medical conditions like hip dysplasia, which can be made worse through rigorous exercise. Identify the symptoms of hip dysplasia by paying close attention to their gait and energy levels before and after runs. You may also want to consider if your dog is the correct size and breed to go running with you. If you have a small dog, they may not be able to keep up and may get tired and lethargic much more easily than a large breed like a Siberian Husky.

Have The Tools You Need On Hand

Clearing the logistical issues when running with your dog makes the task easier and less frustrating for you and your pup. Hands-free leashes are a great option for any pet parent. They attach to your body like a belt and let you run without holding onto the leash. Using a hands-free leash may require some training with you and your dog, but it’s a safer way to run with your pup, especially long distances. You may also want to consider attaching extra water to your belt, as some breeds are much more likely to overheat while running, especially in the Spring and Summer months. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion in dogs can be very serious illness and could lead to death, so making sure that you can cool them off at a moment’s notice is crucial for keeping them safe and happy during your run. 

You should also make sure that you are healthy and hydrated as well. While a doctor’s appointment can clear you for long-distance running, you should also consider the different ways that you can improve your health during a running season. Incorporating healthier diet choices like whey isolate protein can be a great choice, for both beginner and advanced runners alike. 

Practice Makes Perfect 

Once you have the tools and both you and your pup are cleared to run, it is essential to your health and success that you create a running plan that keeps you and your pup safe. For any marathon runner, creating a training calendar is essential. This is also true for your dog. You want to ensure that you slowly increase the distance and intensity at which you are running so that you can safely reach your goals. It is essential that you are aware of your limits, that you start early and small, and that you choose a marathon where dogs are welcome and that is within your competitive range. During your training, you also want to ensure that you are planning time for rest and recovery so that you do not get burned out. Injuries are far more likely for both you and your pup without time for your muscles to recover from long runs. So keep you both safe and plan time to rest and recover. 

photo cred: sherise-vd-6LS14DBENBQ-unsplash

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