Most dogs enjoy running, which makes them great running companions!
But before you both hit the road, we’d like to offer some paws for thought.
Start off steady
No matter how much your dog might look like it wants to run and run, you have to bear in mind its age and fitness level. Too much too soon could actually do your dog more harm than good.
Dogs less than a year old are still growing and too much running could damage their joints. If you’re not sure when your pup will be ready for the road, get some advice from your vet.
Another thing you need to consider is how far you’re going to run. As a seasoned runner, you’ll know that a 10k run is no walk in the park.
Is your dog up to it? Or is it more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner?
It’s not fair to expect your dog to hit the ground running and keep running for miles and miles if it has never done it before. Get it used to distance. You wouldn’t run a human friend into the ground, would you? So you wouldn’t want to do it to your best four-legged friend.
When you start running
Once you and your dog are on the run, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
You have to make sure your dog will behave itself and stick with you, not get sidetracked by a particularly tempting scent, or by another dog that wants to play or by strangers it wants to meet. So, there will be some training. Keep your dog on a leash until you’re sure it knows that its place is with you and only you on your runs.
In hot weather, you’re not the only one who’s going to need water, so make sure there’s some available for your dog, too.
Being the leader of the pack
Even if it is just a pack of you and your dog, you have to remember that you’re the leader; your dog will be looking to you for guidance and trusting you to do right by it.
That means feeding them properly – and not feeding them just before you go for a big run, or just after. Feed at least one hour before you go and wait 2 hours after you return to give your dog time to readjust. Why not give your dog a Field & Trial sample to try? We would be more than happy to help advise which of our range is most suitable to them.
When should I go for a run?
Mornings and early evenings during the summer months are the best times to go running with your dog, when the temperatures are cooler. This will minimise the risk of them developing heat stroke or exhaustion which can be fatal.
Try and run in shady places, not in direct heat. If there is somewhere for your dog to take a dip too this can help keep them cool.
If carried out correctly, running with your dog can be a great form of exercise and bonding between the two of you.