How to Run With Your Dog the Correct Way

by | Dec 16, 2019 | Exercise and Play

Owning a dog offers much more than love and companionship. Dog owners tend to lead healthier lifestyles and even have longer lifespans

One way dogs benefit our health and wellbeing is by being the perfect exercise partners. Taking your dog for a daily run burns calories and gets your heart-rate pumping. 

Yet, there are certain tips for making your run safer and more comfortable. Read on to learn more about how to run with your dog. 

Make Sure Your Pet Is Ready to Run

Cardio is great for improving heart health for both you and your dog. It also balances blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 

Yet, before running with your dog, there are a few precautions to take. You need to make sure your dog is fit and well enough to take on this exercise. This helps avoid any injuries while running. 

Take your dog’s current physical fitness level into account. Be sure there aren’t any health conditions that could interfere. This includes obesity, joint issues, arthritis, or hip dysplasia. 

Your dog should also be the right age to go running. Younger dogs have plenty of energy for this.

Older dogs or puppies may not be able to handle these higher intensity workouts. Puppies that are still developing may also have a greater risk of injury with running.  

Your dog’s breed also impacts their running abilities. Pugs and bulldogs are not able to take a large inhale of air. So, they may have trouble breathing when exerting themselves.

Dogs with shorter legs also tire easier and cannot run as fast. Certain dog breeds can run for longer periods than others. 

Dalmatians and German Short-Haired Pointers are some of the best dogs for running. Iditarod dogs are even capable of running 1,000 miles a week

You’ll also want to learn how to train your dog to run with you. Your dog should have basic training skills in place first. They should respond well to commands and not pull on their leash.   

Get Comfortable Gear 

The right gear is essential for you and your pet when running. You’ll need a pair of comfortable running shoes, with enough support. 

A non-restricting harness or collar for your dog is also important. If wondering how far can dogs run, it depends on the leash. A regular leash is best, as retractable leashes can interfere more with your run.

Clip the leash around your middle so your hands can be free as you run. This is better for your balance and coordination. 

When running longer distances you may want to bring along a lightweight backpack. Use this to hold a water bottle and pet treats for good behavior. Collapsible water bowls are also great for dogs. 

Select the Right Track and Run Times

Certain terrains are better for you and your pet. Sidewalks and streets can be too hard for your dog to run on comfortably. These surfaces also get hot in the summer and can hurt your dog’s pads. 

Grass and packed dirt are better options. Running trails with even surfaces are most ideal for you and your pet. Be sure to keep your dog’s paws free from loose rocks and look out for holes. 

So, how far can a dog run on these terrains? This all depends on the weather conditions. 

It’s important not to expose your dog to extreme cold or hot temperatures for long periods. Only use paths that are clear of snow and ice when running. 

In the summer, pick the coolest time of the day to go for a run. This is often the first thing in the morning. Here are a few helpful tips to become a morning workout person. 

Running in the late afternoon or at night is also good during warmer months. Be sure to use reflective leashes to stay safe when running at night.   

Start off Slow and Steady

It’s always best to ease into your running routine as not to overexert yourself or your dog. This helps build up both of your endurance levels over time. 

At first, you may only run a few times a week then work up to a daily exercise routine. Warm-up with walking then move into a slow jog. From there you can build up into a steady run.  

It’s best to alternate between running and fast-paced walking to maintain energy. This will help you both adjust to your new workout routine. 

So, how many miles can a dog run? Most fit dogs are capable of running for a few miles. Yet, start slow and work your way up to longer distances and faster speeds over time.  

Be Sure to Rest and Recover 

It’s important to take a break if either of you seems winded or tired from running. Both you and your dog should also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is especially important during the warmer months.  

It’s key to choose the right meal plan for yourself and your dog when working out. A proper diet helps your body to recover after a high-endurance run. 

High-protein foods will rebuild muscles and maintain energy levels. Choose a healthy dog-food brand with whole ingredients and no harmful preservatives.  

How to Run with Your Dog with Safety and Comfort in Mind

Dogs make for great workout partners, as long as the right conditions are met. These tips will teach you how to run with your dog for the best workout experience. 

It’s best to check with your vet first to make sure your dog is healthy enough to handle cardio. Choosing the right terrain and time to run is also important.

Easing into your new running routine will reduce the risk of injury for you and your pet. Be on the lookout for any health warning signs when working out. Always pay attention to your pet’s comfort level as well as your own.