If there is a similarity between exercise and pet ownership, it is that people can lead a longer and healthier life. Many publications highlight the benefits of regular exercise and pet ownership. A total of 75 minutes of brisk walking a week, if done consistently, will result in a gain in a person’s average life span of about 2 years. On the other hand, owning a dog has long been associated with longer lifespans and better recovery among people who have experienced major health events. If you decide to run with your canine companion, imagine the health benefits you can enjoy and the fun you can have.
The best part is that your dog can also benefit from regular exercise. More than half of all dogs are estimated to be obese or overweight, and this does not reflect well on their health. Just like humans, overweight or obesity predisposes dogs to certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and heart and respiratory diseases. Therefore, putting your dog on an exercise regimen and proper nutritional habits can help your pet have a healthier future. It’s good to know that jogging with your dog a few times a week can help you have more fun years together.
But before putting on your running shoes, it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure that your next training session continues to only benefit you and your furry family member. Some things you should know before running with your pet dog are:
Check if your dog is a runner
For example, before you start purchasing running gear for your pet, such as foldable dog bowls, you should make sure running is the right activity for your dog. It is important to note that not all dogs are runners. Your dog’s breed, build, age, and health are important things to keep in mind to determine if running is the best form of exercise for them.
For example, brachycephalic dogs may not be able to benefit from physically strenuous activities. Also, running with a very young dog is a bad idea, as this can damage their developing bones and joints. Small dogs may not be able to keep up with you if you go at a fast pace, while larger dogs may be more prone to hip dysplasia. To ensure your dog’s safety, it’s always a good move to consult a veterinarian before starting a run with your pet. A professional can advise you on how best to introduce the activity to your furry friends and the preparations you should make before each run.
Make sure you have the right equipment
If you plan to run with your dog, you will need to bring a few items with you. You and your dog should have adequate and up-to-date tick protection. You also need to pack items you may need along the way, such as a poop bag, treatment bag, and water bowl that your pet can use for water breaks. It is also important to use sun protection to avoid skin damage and discomfort caused by prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays.
Teach your running buddy the basic commands
Taking a mischievous dog for a run is just asking for trouble. Can your dog walk with you without a leash, come to you when called, and can “sit” and “stay” when outside? Also, can they let things go when you say so? Teaching your dog these commands will help keep him safe while exploring the great outdoors. If they are still unfamiliar with these commands or you are hesitant to apply them, then you and your dog may benefit from attending an obedience course.
Pay attention to the weather and your choice of route
Choosing dirt tracks on asphalt roads is healthier for your dog’s joints and limits your pet’s exposure to intense roadways. However, check that your path is not haunted by wild animals such as foxes and deer that could harm your pet. Also check the weather, because running with your dog is not recommended if the sun is too hot or too cold. Extreme temperatures make you and your pet more prone to heat or cold ailments and injuries.
Check your dog after every run
Finally, be sure to check your running friend at the end of each run for ticks, injuries to their paws, or any other unwanted souvenirs you may have picked up along the way.
Some people start running as a hobby. Some do this to improve their health or to relieve stress. Whatever the reason for your running, taking your furry friend with you can help you enjoy the activity better and practice more consistently. This can bring many benefits not only for you, but also for your all-legged running partner.