Even the best of us are susceptible to the most cunning excuses for avoiding a workout. But if your running buddy is a dog, chances are you’ll have a harder time saying no to those excited pair of eyes every time you think of shirking a run. It’s a great way of getting some exercise and quality time together. Here are a few things to keep in mind while running with your dog.

Have a chat with your vet
Not all dogs are equipped to handle long-distance sprinting, and it’s best to get your dog’s natural limits attested by his doctor. Consider its breed and age and make sure it is fit to run, especially if it’s led a sedentary lifestyle before. And no running with puppies—their growing joints are vulnerable to damage at that age.

Get some rules out there
If running is serious business to you, then it’s necessary that your dog should be in tune with it. Establish some basic commands. For his own safety and of those running alongside you, ensure that he’s on a leash and trained to follow directions such as “Stay” or “Leave it” for possible roadside distractions. Finally, make sure you carry poop bags and clean up after him.

Stay hydrated
And that applies to the both of you. Dogs can’t tell when they’re thirsty, and it’s advisable to carry a collapsible water bowl. Stop for frequent water breaks depending on the weather, before you more or less fall into regular intervals. Stay alert on his behavior at all times for signs of overheating on really warm days.

If running is serious business to you, then it’s necessary that your dog should be in tune with it.  (Image: RuffWear)
If running is serious business to you, then it’s necessary that your dog should be in tune with it. (Image: RuffWear)

Choose your trail
While running shoes have eased us into conquering all surfaces, canine paws are vulnerable to polished exteriors like asphalt and hard concrete for long runs. It’s best to choose grassy or dirt roads, or go hiking outside the city, when planning a long sprint.

Have a ball
Introduce fun games such as racing a Frisbee, running over obstacles, and reward him and yourself when you cross your limits on a particularly challenging run. Running is one of the simplest ways of introducing some quality pet-time in your weekly schedule, and it’ll only do you both a world of good.

Main image: dogtraining.rajce.idnes.cz

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