Walking your dog is so old fashioned!
Running with your dog is totally in!
Not only is it a good workout for your pooch, but it is also an awesome workout for yourself.
Here are some tips to get you and your dog started! They are:
"1. Don’t start too young. Dogs’ bones need time to grow and set, so if you intend on doing long-distance running with your dogs, it’s best to wait until their bones have matured. You could start running with some smaller breeds at around 6 months, while with larger breeds it’s best to wait until they’re at least one.
2. Get to the vet. While many of us don’t seek the advice of our doctors before engaging in specific exercise routines, we ought to. And the same goes with your dog’s vet. Letting your vet know that you want to run with your dog will cue the vet to pay special attention to your dog’s heart, joints, and other areas.
3. Build up distance. You wouldn’t go out and run 10 miles on your first trek, would you? Just because you’re ready for that distance now, doesn’t mean your dog is. Let him build up to longer distances, so that his muscles, and paws, and get accustomed.
4. Pamper the pads. Those dog pads are amazing things. They can take a beating like nothing else. But they’re not indestructible. If you choose to run on pavement (trails are a better alternative), this rough terrain can tear up your dog’s paw pads. Inspect your dog’s pads after each run for cuts, glass, etc."
After those tips we bet you can't wait to get running with your dog!
"5. Be prepared. Bring a collapsible water bowl (and water) for your dog. Bring protein/carb-rich treats. And yes, bring poop bags. This may sound like a lot of “stuff,” but one way around it is to have your dog carry his load. Dog running gear like the Singletrack Pack by Ruffwear, allows your dog to carry its own water, as well as some of other light essentials. Note: keep the pack as light as possible for your dog’s safety.
6. Avoid retractable leashes. Keep your dog on a 3 – 6 foot leash.
7. Know your dog’s limits. If you have a chihuahua, don’t go on a run with him. He’s not made for that kind of work. Also, if you’re dog is older than 7, consider slowing down the runs, making them shorter, and, eventually, hanging up the running shoes (for your dog, of course).
8. Look out for signs of trouble. Be aware of your dog’s behavior. If your dog begins panting, slowing down, foaming, or has glazed eyes, this may be a sign of overheating or some other health issue. Immediately stop the run, cool your dog down (with shade and water), and if the problem persists, go to a vet."
[Image via Average But Not.]