If you're someone who loves to run, and you own a dog, you might think that inviting your dog to run with you is a good idea. In fact, running with your dog can be great exercise, but before you put on your jogging shoes and head out the door, with your furry friend on a regular basis, here are some things that you need to know.
Take Short Runs at First
Even though most dogs enjoy running around to play, running with your dog for exercise is a challenge that your dog needs to tackle slowly. Most dogs are so happy to be running outside with their owners that they overexert themselves. Determine a brief course for your run and do not exceed it. If your dog seems exhausted afterward, you may need to decrease the length even more.
If your dog seems energetic after the run, take the same route a few days in a row to build up his or her endurance. Once you're confident that the dog is handling the run well, you can increase the distance and time.
Each time you run, be attentive signs of your dog's exhaustion or overexertion like heavy panting or slowing down. Then end the run to give them a break. If this continues, consult with your vet to see if there is an underlying cause of your dog tiring out quickly.
Always Have a Leash Handy
Some dog owners want to run without the hassle of leashing the dog. Before you make this decision, be confident in your dog's immediate obedience to your commands. If you're not going to place the dog on a leash, you still need to bring one with you.
Put the leash on your dog if you approach other runners, children or other animals. Your dogs reaction to other people or animals can be unpredictable and other runners, especially parents with children, feel at ease seeing that you have control of you dog.
Bring the Right Tools
In most places, running with your dog requires you to clean up its droppings. Have some small plastic bags ready to clean up any poop that your dog leaves on the trail. Another simple precaution you can take is to have a photo of your pet in your pocket or on your phone. If the dog somehow gets separated from you, show the pictures to people nearby who may be able to help you locate your pet.
Including your dog in your daily run is a great idea. You'll both get the exercise you need. As long as you take the appropriate precautions, you and your dog can enjoy this activity for many years to come. Take your dog to the vet (like those at Rivers Animal Hospital vet) if you are unsure if your dog's health is in good enough condition to begin a daily running routine.