It’s the new year and perhaps it’s that time of year when you decide to commit to a running program, and there’s no better way to get in some miles than with your dog! But, it’s not always as smooth sailing as people make it look, so learn all the best techniques for running with your dog.
At The Vet Set, running the Carroll Gardens neighborhood is beautiful — take in all the gorgeous and unique brownstones and window shop as you peruse local vendors, and do it all with your dog! You can get both a little fresh air and good company, which never hurts! To learn more about how to get started running with your dog, stick around for this post!
Running with your dog provides a great bonding opportunity in addition to getting exercise, but there are some things to consider before the two of you hit the pavement!
First things first, it’s vital to always check with your Carroll Gardens’ vet that it’s safe for your dog to run longer distances. Sometimes their age, breed, and health status can impact their ability for intense exercise, so it’s important to have them examined before doing so.
What else do you need to know about running safely with your dog? Let’s dive in below!
When it comes to running with your dog, it’s important that you wait until they’re mature enough, so while a puppy has a ton of energy, running may not be fun for you because they can easily get distracted and they’re still being trained. Give it a little time and then begin to ease them into running.
Just like any new runner, dogs need to be able to build up slowly so their muscles, cardiovascular system, and paws can get used to the extra strain. Start by bringing your dog out towards the end of your run for five or 10 minutes. And, at the end of the day, always look for their cues such as heavy panting or slowing down to stop or walk.
Dogs can get distracted no matter how well-trained they are, so it’s important to keep them on a tight leash. As you run, sometimes you can zone out so if they see a pesky squirrel or they’re roaming a little too far into the street, it could become an issue. Keep them close for safety for both them and yourself.
If you’re going on a long run where you’ll require water, it’s important that you also pack some for your pooch. There are portable bowls that make things easy or even just pouring some out a water bottle will work.
It may be a little awkward getting out and running at first, but in time, you’ll be able to get more comfortable with each other. Always look out for their paws and the small nuances in their gait. Stepping on paws is never fun and if it’s frequent they could begin to negatively associate running with pain or trauma.
While some breeds love to run and perhaps don’t want to stop, periodically help them recharge with a break. Allow them to use the bathroom, get a drink, and recoup before the last part of your run.
While you can not always predict the weather you may encounter on your run, a good practice is to run with your dog when the weather is good — anything too hot or too cold can damage their paws and cause other issues.
If you are running in hot weather, let your dog run on grass if you’re running on pavement and avoid streets and blacktop as much as you can.
In cold weather, you can always try dog booties (if they tolerate them) or make sure to thoroughly wipe their paws because snow, ice, and ice melt can get in between their paws and cause pain and irritation.
If you’re taking your dog out at night, it’s critical that you use reflective gear so cars and other people can see them. Reflective gear is available in a variety of forms from vests and bracelets to lights you can hook around their collars.
Running with your furry friend can be a delight and a great way to get outside and into the great outdoors. Before you get started double check with your vet that it’s safe for your dog to run. Once you get the green light, make sure your dog is old enough and then begin to build their mileage. When you’re hitting the road, ensure you keep a semi-tight leash, pack hydration, watch out for your dog’s paws, take breaks, run in good weather, and always use reflective gear.