Running with Your Dog

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Have you always wanted to run with your dog? The Lucy Mac 5K-9 is coming up October 1, so it’s a perfect goal for getting started. Running with your dog is great because it can keep you both in shape, and can strengthen the bond between you and your pup. Here are some tips for getting started as well as a 5K training plan for you and your dog to get ready for the big race.

Check with Your Vet
It’s important to always check with a veterinarian to see if your dog is capable of being your running partner. Snub-nosed dog breeds like bulldog, Shih Tzu and Pugs will have trouble breathing while exercising and running. Your dog should also have a health check, just like you, before starting an exercise program.

Start Slow & Practice
When you first started running, you had to slowly work up to it, running half miles before three miles; the same rules apply for your pup. Use this 5k Training Plan to help create an exercise plan perfect for you and your dog. You will start by alternating between running and walking and build up to longer distances.

Don’t Force It
Just like no two people are the same, every dog is different. In the past, you may have had a Goldendoodle who loved going on runs with you, but that doesn’t mean another one will run even a mile. Also consider that with all the different builds, some dogs will be fast or slow and some will be able to run long distance while others can only do short distance. As you work on your 5K training plan, pay close attention to your dog. When you signal it’s time for a run, does he/she get excited and race to the door? After runs does your dog have the same appetite and sleeping patterns? If you see any signs of resistance, it might mean your dog doesn’t enjoy it and just isn’t the right running partner.

Plan Your Runs Ahead of Time
Think of your furry partner when choosing your running paths. Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Always run before or after the heat of the day. Dogs can’t sweat like humans, so the cooler the temperature, the better.
• During the warmer weather season, plan your runs near bodies of water like lakes, rivers or creeks. This will allow your pup to stop and take a cooling dip to avoid overheating.
• Choose paths that are dirt or gravel as it is better for your dog’s paws than asphalt.

Gear Up
Running with a harness is more comfortable and safer than running with a leash and collar. It will stop your dog from pulling or choking on a collar. Look for a dog harness with a V-neck construction made of lighter, breathable materials. The V-neck will work well as your dog pulls in front of you, settling further down the neck than a regular harness.

Most runners find a hands-free leash that ties around the waist more comfortable while still providing control.
A Dog-Running Belt that you wear will help you carry necessities like water bottles, poop bags and headphones easily on your run. You can attach most leashes to them to run hands free.
Bringing water for your dog is just as important as bringing a water bottle for you! Keep your pup hydrated with a portable dog bowl, that is easy to stash and carry with you!

Want some more information on how to best run with your dog? Check out this informative Running with Your Dog Infographic and this helpful Tips for Running with Your Dog Video.

About Kaitlyn Manktelow – Kaitlyn is a writer and videographer for Kurgo, a dog travel and outdoor products company. She enjoys filming, traveling, and singing way too loud with her rescue dog Samuel Jackson.

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