Staying motivated to exercise can be hard on some days, but having a four legged buddy to run with helps tremendously. A dog is ready to go at any time and you don’t even have to wait for them to get into the proper gear. There are some things to keep in mind while running with your furry friend to keep you both safe and make you run even more enjoyable.
- Take into consideration the health of your dog. Is it a puppy, or an older dog? Puppies are not ideal running companions for a few reasons. They are usually just beginning to learn how to walk on a leash and basic commands, which mean you won’t be able to keep them under complete control if the situation demands it. Also, a puppy is still growing so you wouldn’t want to risk a bone fracture or break. On the other hand, if your dog is on the older side they may not be able to keep up with you even though they will try, which could cause harm to the dog. It’s best to check with your veterinarian before setting off.
- Take a look at the gear you have for your dog. One thing you do not want while running is an extendable leash, which is just a fall waiting to happen. The best leash for running is one that is on the shorter side, but not so short as to interfere with your dogs’ gait. The size of the dog (small, medium, large) is going to be the determining factor here. If you run in the ice and snow often you will need to buy Fido some doggy shoes to protect their paws from corrosive salt. There are also small packs that a larger dog can carry on their back for food and water. Obviously a backpack for a smaller dog would need to be tested for weight.
- Be aware of comfort zones, both for people and other pets. There are some people out there who don’t like, or are allergic to dogs. There are also dogs out there who do not like other dogs. Play it safe and give others plenty of room.
- Keep America clean. Bring plenty of doggy disposal bags so you can pick up after your canine friend if they happen to make a mess. There are some neighborhoods around the United States that have canine DNA on file, so if a dog leaves a mess the owner will be found and fined!
- Ensure that your dog has been vaccinated. Being bitten is bad enough, but then having to worry about getting rabies? Not only is that unacceptable, but a pet owner who does not vaccinate their pet against rabies can be sued if someone is bitten and infected.
With just a few precautions you can hit the sidewalk or trail with your favorite buddy. Dogs love to be outdoors and seeing their joy while running is the best motivation a person could ask for.