5 Tips to Enjoying a Healthy Run with your Dog
Running is one of the best ways to exercise not only for you but also for your pet dog. Your ultimate exercise buddy – that is who your dog is. Their eagerness to spend every moment of their lives with you is one big factor why you need to train them how to jog or run with you, not away from you. However, in order to reap the full benefits of running with your dog, it is best to heed the following tips.
Train your Dog Off-leash
One of the very first things you need to ascertain is that your dog is properly trained off-leash. You simply do not want your running exercise more an activity of catch-me-if-you-can. Additionally, it is important that you train your dog on basic obedience commands particularly the heel command. This is important so that your dog will be staying in just the left side of your body. This will prevent him from zigzagging and tripping you in the process. Furthermore, having him stay on the safe side of the road greatly improves his own wellbeing.
Train without a leash
For your dog to learn to respond when off leash, start by training without the aid of a leash whenever possible. This may seem obvious. But many of us spend weeks in dog classes working on sit, stay, down, and come with our dogs on a six-foot leash. When we head to the beach or woods and snap off the leash, our dogs act as if they’ve never been to training class. Unfortunately, on-leash training – while valuable for on-leash behaviors – can’t prepare either of you for the challenges of the off-leash experience.
This is partly due to the fact that people often and inadvertently use physical cues such as a slight pressure on the leash to help the dog know what they want. When the dog and handler lose that added signal, their communication falls apart
Ascertain your Dog’s Health and Readiness to Run Distances
Before hitting the road, you need to check that your dog is suitable to run considerable distances. Additionally, you need to ask your veterinarian if it is safe for him to run on extended periods of time. There are certain dog breeds that are more prone to musculoskeletal problems which can make running particularly risky for them. As a rule of thumb, though, larger breeds of dogs, especially in the working class, are excellent companions for running.
Check the Weather before Hitting the Road
Make sure that the weather is right before you hit the road and start running. During the summer months, it is best to run early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Dogs tend to overheat with strenuous physical exercises. Add to this the inherently hot weather and it can be disastrous for your furry friend.
Start Slow and Light
On your first run, never attempt to go 5 miles on a sprint. It is best to take it in small sequential steps. Try jogging first at a light pace for about 3 miles. Make sure to keep track of your dog’s behavior and stop for a rest every now and then. You need to do this incrementally until such time that your dog has already adapted and can significantly manage longer distances at a much faster pace.
Keep your Dog Hydrated
Unlike you, dogs do not sweat in order to release body heat and cool their bodies down. The only way they can do this is by panting. You can help them by giving fresh clean and cool drinking water every few miles. You will be thankful you have a bottle of water with you every time you go out on a run with your dog.
Running with your dog is one way to foster that owner-dog relationship. It is also one way to show to your furry friend that you trust him in his abilities. Exercising together thus, has more than just a fair share of its physical health benefits. More importantly, the mental and emotional bond between you and your dog can only become deeper.After a long run, your dog is sure to accumulate some outdoor smells and odors and as many times as you wash them with normal pet shampoo it will not work to remove wet dog smell. Make sure you buy a product that is extra strength on odors yet gentle enough to use directly on your dog.