Running with your dog

You’ve been running for a while or just starting a running program and now you’d like some company. Who better than your dog? He won’t be embarrassed by your clothes, we won’t talk your ear off, and he is fine with whatever route you choose.

Running with your dog is great exercise and great company for both of you. Here are tips to start off on the right paw. When you make yours and Rover’s experience a great one, running with your dogis a routine that you both will want to keep.

Before starting your dog running, run it by your vet and make sure your furry friend has a clean bill of health.

Does he heel? Running on a Leash

Your running experience will be so much better if your dog is not yanking your arm out of your socket every time she sees a squirrel or smells something fascinating.

If your dog normally tugs or tries to walk away when you walk him on a leash, you really want to invest the time to train your dog to walk on a lead and to heel. You want him or her to run with you and not to be “running you”.

What You Need

This is simple–all you need is a collar and a leash. If running longer distances, more than 25 minutes, bring water and a retractable water dish or plan your route so your dog can get water along the way.

Getting Started

You need to begin your dog running program slowly. Don’t just get out there tear through 4 miles in 30 minutes your dog’s first time out! Actually, you should really start by walking, even if your dog is energetic. Start by taking your dog for long walks at least a half a mile every other day.

After a week or so, sprinkle periods of running during the walks. You will have to increase the distance of your walk/runs to keep your exercise time at 30 minutes. Add distance by 10 percent each week. If your dog starts lagging, slow down. Keep decreasing the walking over a week or two until your routine is all running.

And for every day you run, your should give Rover a day off.

Where to Run

If you can, run on a soft surfaces like grass and dirt trails. Concrete, hot asphalt, frozen roads, ice and salt can all be harmful to the paws.

If you must run on roads, avoid traffic. Rover’s head and nose are at the same height as a car exhaust pipe.

After the Run

Check the paws before and after every run for any cuts or abrasions.

Offer sips of water–at first–for cooling down rather than free access to water.

And Mind the Heat!

Dogs do not dissipate heat the way we do. Sweat cools our skin– but dog do not sweat. They release heat through their paws and mouths. Because of this, they also release heat slower than we do, so you have to make sure they don’t overheat.

* On warm days, plan your running route to allow drinking stops.

* Let the dog run through puddles and sprinklers.

* Dogs with longer hair and shorter muzzles may have more problems with running on warm days.

And Most Importantly

Make running fun. Talk to your dog and offer praise, and don’t run him to exhaustion.