Running with a dog - how to start? Complete tutorial
Running with a dog is perfect for pets that need a large dose of physical activity during the day. This is a great way to actively spend time with your pet. If you like running and your pet needs a lot of exercises, learn how to start running with your dog and start exercising with your pet.
Does every dog like to run?
Each dog is different, has its own individual needs and preferences. In addition, each breed of dog is differently built and adapted to a different type of activity. It is also necessary to take into account the health and condition of the pet. Running is not an ideal form of physical activity for every four-legged friend. Healthy and adult dogs that have been properly prepared for this form of physical activity like running the most. For adult giant breed dogs with a tendency to dysplasia or less active dogs, long-distance running may be too strenuous for the body. On the other hand, an active and full of energy husky will gladly run with us even several kilometres. Regardless of the dog's age, breed, lifestyle and health condition, our pet needs proper preparation to start running with us.
Which dogs love to run the most?
Virtually every dog can be encouraged to run, but we will not make every pet a long-distance runner. Some dog breeds, such as Greyhound, Husky, Border Collie, Pointer, Dalmatian or German Shepherd are predisposed to long runs and will always be happy to accompany us during the run. Of course, this does not mean that only dogs of this breed should run. In fact, any dog that is healthy, feeling well and has enough strength to keep up with us can run. Always consult your vet for jogging. If the dog has healthy joints, the doctor will not detect any abnormalities in the pet's heart or blood, then you can take your four-legged friend with you.
How to start running with your dog?
For the first run with your pet, plan a short route, preferably away from cars, people and other animals. The less frequented place you choose to run, the greater the chance that nothing will distract your pet during the first run. Choose unpaved terrain for your jogging route - avoid asphalt paths, cobblestones or tiles. Such surfaces heat up much faster in summer and have a negative effect on the work of the joints, putting additional strain on them. During the first run, you never know how your dog will endure this form of exertion, so plan your running route so that it is still close to home from every point of it. Do not run away with your dog 5 kilometres from the house - later, the tired pet will have to cover this distance again before finally resting.
Dog jogging for beginners
Do not start running with your dog in the first minutes after leaving the house. First, let the dog take care of his needs, sniff the area or just walk for a while. Only later, you can start jogging slowly to force the pet to accelerate its pace. Before starting the exercise, always give the dog a command to combine a specific action with a command. Tell the dog "We're running" and start jogging at first. Plan your run so that you can jog the last part of it, or even walk. Thanks to this, your dog will have time to cool down a bit after exercise, and additionally, it can take care of all its physiological needs after the run. Exercise improves bowel movements, so your dog may need to have a bowel movement while jogging.
What to take for a run with a pet?
You also need to prepare the appropriate equipment for running with your dog. If you do not have a dog harness, be sure to provide your pet with one. When you go jogging with your dog, put on a harness that will provide the dog with adequate comfort while moving. A longer leash than the one you put on for walks will also be useful for running. Running is a significant effort even for a healthy and strong dog, so bring a water bottle and a dog bowl on such a trip. Running with your dog is part of a normal walk, so make sure you also have dog poo bags to clean up after your pet and its favourite dog treats to reward your pet for good behaviour.
Watch your pet
When running with your dog, always keep an eye on your pet and how it reacts to the effort. If your dog starts to pant, slows down, or is just bored, stop running, reward your pet with a treat and praise it. Give your dog a bowl of water to quench his thirst and let him rest for a while to rest.
Take care of health and safety
Running with your dog on a leash requires appropriate safety measures to ensure that both you and your pet are safe. Always keep your and your dog safe when running with your dog on a leash. If you run with your dog in the evenings, choose a collar and leash made of reflective materials and also take care of reflective elements in your outfit. Try to choose a leash in a conspicuous colour - this way other runners on the paths will notice your dog's leash faster and won't get tangled in it when they want to run in front of you. When you run your dog in a forest, park or other green areas, be sure to protect your pet from parasites, including fleas and ticks. Are you going for a long run with your dog or jogging on rocky terrain? Give your pet dog shoes.
Care to take after a run
After returning from the run, give your pet a break and give it a full bowl of freshwater to drink. Clean your pet's paws of dust, sand or mud and apply a moisturizing balm on them, which will bring relief to tired paws.
How often do I run with my dog?
The frequency of the runs is a very individual matter. Some dogs will love to run a few kilometres a day, and some dogs will only need one or two runs a week. The intensity of exercise with your dog must be selected according to the condition and needs of your pet. Dogs that have a lot of energy and like to run may need more exercise and in them running daily can be a great way to use up a dog's huge amount of energy.
When is the best time to run with a dog?
You can run with your dog whenever you feel like it. However, pay attention to the prevailing weather conditions. In a downpour or blizzard, give yourself a long run, unless your dog loves to run in the snow or spend time outside in the rain. In summer, it's best to run your dog in the morning or evening - avoid any physical activity with your dog in hot weather, and don't let your dog spend a lot of time outside at noon.
Running with a dog and diet
The diet of a physically active pet must provide the dog with an appropriate dose of energy. While running, your dog will burn more calories than during a regular walk, so it's a good idea to change its diet to active dog food. Such a formula will be characterized by a higher calorific value than the standard maintenance pet food. The diet of dogs with increased physical activity should be rich in protein and fat that will provide the dog with the right amount of energy every day.
Do not give your dog a meal right before running - physical exertion immediately after a meal can lead to a stomach twist that is dangerous to your pet's health or life. Give your dog a minimum of one hour's rest after a meal before taking him for a walk or a run.
Other products that will help your dog with constipation:
Sensitive Digest, 12.5 kg | Gluten free recipe with limited animal protein sources
Sensitive Valp Digest, 12.5 kg | Dry food that supports the developmental needs of sensitive puppies