Going for a run with your dog can make the process of exercise a lot more fun and easy. They say that having company during your exercise routine can not only motivate you to work harder, but it can also make it easier as well. Having your pet with you as you undergo your run will help to keep you alert to their wants and needs, and so you will recognise yours as well. The company of having your dog with you will both motivate you when you are running while strengthening the bond between you and your pawed friend. Plus both you and your dog will reap the physical and health related benefits of going on a run. With the positives in mind we have put together a few hints and tips to consider when taking your dog for a run with you!
Lead or no lead?
One of the main things that you will need to consider is whether or not you will be taking your dog on a lead. All dogs are completely different, and it will be up to you as a dog owner to deem whether or not your fluffy little friend needs a lead. The motto here is ‘better be safe than sorry’! If you are unsure about whether your pet will be compliant during your run then it’s probably best to keep them on a lead to begin with. A good way to ease them into the system is by keeping them on a lead for the first week of your running and then go without the lead after that (providing that they have not been pulling!) No one wants to spend their entire run running after their dog or waiting for them to catch up!
Make sure that you are comfortable
Making sure that you are comfortable running is really important when running with your dog. Make sure that you are used to your route, have the right running gear and are both prepared and fit enough to complete your route. Our pets have a way of sensing when we are not enjoying something. If you are on your run with your pet and your trainers are hurting you then you will have to turn around and come back. This could risk interrupting your routine while distressing your little buddy. Make sure you are well prepared and have the right gear. You can get hold of some great voucher codes from Runners Need to get your running gear cheaper.
Where are you running?
Always make sure that you consider where it is that you will be running. If you are running somewhere particularly dangerous then make sure to really think about whether you should take your dog with you. Here are a few things that you should consider when taking your dog for a run with you:
- Terrain: If you are heading somewhere with rough terrain consider your dogs paws and think about taking more breaks. You could try to run slower or you could give your dog a day off all together. Remember that things like broken glass and sharp rocks can be really hazardous for your dog.
- Weather conditions: Bad weather conditions such as heavy snow or thunder and lightning can cause your dog to panic. Make sure you know that your dog will be okay in these conditions. A lot of pets have an aversion to thunder so it is probably best to let them feel comfortable at home rather than dragging them out when they don’t want too. Similarly if you have a very small dog, heavy or thick snow can be very daunting for them. Always consider your dogs reaction to particular weather conditions!
- Temperature: If it is a particularly hot day then you may find that your pet will be struggling a bit. Be sure to let your pet rest in particularly hot weather!
Stick to a routine with your dog
Keeping your dog in a routine is a really important aspect in training them to run with you. Dogs are really good at functioning in a routine, much like humans are. You will find that your poochy pal will learn to run at pace with you a lot quicker if you take them for a run at the same time everyday. There really is power in routine!
Make sure that you treat your dog for good behaviour after a run. Positive reinforcement is a great way to help emphasize good behaviour in your dog. Plus they definitely deserve a treat after accompanying you!
Keep your eye on them
Make sure you keep an eye of your fluffy friend. Unlike humans, dogs cannot vocally communicate with you when they are feeling ill, exhausted or upset. Make sure you watch your dog for little cues. If they are slowing down, panting a lot or if they stop altogether then you know that they will need a break. This is especially an important thing to look out for with older dogs who may not be used to doing such an intense amount of exercise.
Stay hydrated together
Make sure that both you and your dog stay hydrated. Remembering to drink water is easy for you, but your dog can’t tell you when they are feeling thirsty. Everytime that you take a sip of water, consider giving your dog some as well. If you are thirsty after a run then they probably are as well. Stay hydrated together and avoid the possibility of dehydration!
There are plenty of things that we need to reflect on when taking our dogs for a run with us. These include whether or not to take a lead, making sure that you are comfortable and thinking about weather, terrain and temperature. But further than this, we also need to implement the benefits of a routine, the use of treats, the need to keep an eye on them and the imperative nature of staying hydrated. And let’s not forget to make use of online voucher codes and discounts on running gear! So make sure you put a plan in place that will work for both you and your dog. And may you both begin to enjoy the routine of companioned exercise!