Top 5 tips for running with your dog

For many people, jogging and running with their dogs is not only a great way to get some exercise, but it’s also an opportunity to spend quality time with their pets. If you want to get some fresh air while running with your dog, you also have to keep in mind your pet’s own limitations and make safety a top priority. Running can be the perfect activity to enjoy with your dog, as long as you keep these tips in mind before you head out to jog the next time:

1. Certain dog breeds are better running companions than others

Some canines were bred to perform different jobs, which means each breed has its own strength and endurance for exercise. Large-breed dogs, such as most protection dog breeds, may be more suitable to longer runs than smaller dog breeds with less endurance.

2. Start out on a slow, light jog before you go on a 3-mile run

Even a dog bred for running cannot immediately start out on a lengthy run. For your first run, go for a light jog around the block. The next time you go running with your dog, go a little bit farther than you did the first time. It might take a few weeks, but soon you’ll build up to a run you and your both dog enjoy.

3. Keep your dog on one side of you throughout the entire run

Keeping your dog on one side consistently prevents you from tripping, and also prevents your pet from getting injured while you are in motion. Spend time training your dog properly before you decide to start running. You can do training exercises while you walk your dog, and make him understand he must stay on either your left or right side. When you feel your dog completely understands this command, you can start running with him.

4. Always make sure your dog is hydrated

Pack a bottle of water for you and one for your dog. Keep a bowl with your running gear, and take breaks in order to give your dog a chance to have a drink of water.

5. Keep the weather in mind before your next run

You may feel comfortable running in 80-degree heat on a sunny day, but don’t forget your dog is covered in fur; if it’s too hot or humid, your pet could suffer from health complications or get injured while you are running. Conversely, you may not like to run on a cold day but your dog may love it! The bottom line: The conditions must be right for both you and your pet before you head out on a jog.

Your well-trained dog requires physical fitness in order to stay healthy, just like you do. Running can be a great way for both of you to stay active and happy together. If you make running with your dog a part of your routine, he’ll come to expect and enjoy these outings. It’s an ideal way to bond with your favorite four-legged pal, while also providing the exercise he needs to live a long life by your side.

Chelsea Kampas is both a parent to her running companion German Shepherd and a dog trainer for Wayne Simanovich Protection Dogs.