Are you considering taking up running, or even a slow jog, with your dog? If so read on to learn everything you need to know about getting, and keeping, fit along with your capering canine.
If you are not a seasoned runner, or have not been for some time, then you will probably find that you can just about keep up with a trotting dog. I remember running with a Jack Russell once, a long time ago I hasten to add, and being laughed at by a stranger because the dog was barely passed a walk.
When starting to run it is important to break yourself, and your dog, in gently. The idea is to become healthier and not hurt yourself or your canine friend. A few steps of jogging on a long brisk walk would be a great start.
Running is the quickest way to improve fitness and you will be amazed at how quickly your own body becomes capable. Your dog will also begin to show a lot more general energy too when his own fitness improves. With a little determination and some willing you will be eating up the miles together before you know it.
It takes a month to create and establish a new lifetime habit. So why not trial for a month, you may never look back.
Running with your dog sounds easy doesn’t it? Human and canine paces that match and both hammering the concrete or earth like two finely tuned machines. Well we are here to tell you that reality can be a little different.
First of all there is the running environment. If you are running in an urban area then you need a good collar or harness for your dog. A longer leash that is easy to hold is a good idea. A leash that you can attach around your waist is even better. If you and your dog are not used to moving in this way then you will probably get into a tangle initially. For this reason alone try not to run too close to busy roads or canal edges in the beginning. It won’t take long to match strides but it will take a bit of practice.
Will you be running in the dark? If so then you will both need to be seen so it is worth investing in a light or even a lighted collar, there are some good sturdy examples in our shop. Even on country lanes with minimal traffic there is a risk from motorists who don’t expect to see anyone else on the road.
Running in the dark over fields and parks is not without risk either. You will still need to be able to see your dog and a lighted collar is perfect for this. We would also recommend carrying a personal alarm, there are some shady characters out there and we want you to be safe.
The Marathon Runners
Later on when you are both as fit as fiddles you will have more things to take into account. Your mutual feet, do you wear good running shoes and are your dog’s pads ok? It is usual, with dedication, to be able to run ten miles within a few weeks. Be aware though of thinning on your dog’s paws and it may be worth investing in a pair of good boots for him, specifically designed canine boots that will keep him comfortable.
Hydration is also important for both of you. It is easy to become dehydrated quickly when running long distance. So carry water, you could even invest in a canine hydration pack and your dog can carry his own water.
If you decide to get fit for summer, or you already run with your dog, do let us know. We would love to see your pictures and hear the tales of your own canine capers.