Running with your dog has many benefits for both owner and animal. It’s terrific for overall health and fitness; you'll both burn calories, improve your joints, gain muscle strength, and improve your cardiovascular health. Running is also a great bonding activity for your dog. Regular one-on-one puppy time is always great for strengthening your relationship. Your dog is also a great motivator and will be your own personal cheerleader, especially when you’d rather be a couch potato. However, don’t abruptly begin running without first considering the well-being of your running partner.
· Consult with your veterinarian prior to beginning this new activity to ensure that your dog fitness level and abilities are well-matched with running. Unfortunately, some breeds have difficultly with too much exertion, for instance those with short snouts or legs.
· Always have water accessible and be aware of signs that your dog may be overheated – such as heavy panting – and stop periodically for water breaks. are prone to overheating. Also, closely monitor other signs that your dog may be struggling such as limping wanting to stop.
· Never go running with your dog in extreme temperatures; they are prone to heat stroke in the summer and hypothermia in the winter. Also, sidewalk pavement and asphalt are incredibly hot in the summer so please check the group temps using the back of your hand before you subject your dog to them.
· Before you hit the trails, make sure you have some obedience training under your belt. Should you approach another dog or person that your dog may react to, its incredibly useful if they have a solid sit and stay.
· Practice short run/walk sessions with your dog until you are confident that he “gets” that he must stay at your side. Many dogs will get into a running rhythm just as people do once they warm up and this will help the two of you to be in sync.
· Start slow - your dog will need some time to adjust to running.
· Consider a harness for your dog for running vs. a collar as she will be more comfortable, and you will have more control, especially with a front chest attachment.
· Consider two great running accessories for your dog. A dog treat pouch with treats will show him how happy you are to be running with him and a dog tag cover that silences his tag noise will allow you to peacefully focus on the beauty of nature! Woofhoof carries both products - check them out at www.woofhoof.com