Sitting around the house today with a cold, and laying around with my dogs brought a topic to mind that I thought I would research and blog about. I have been wanting to run some with my dogs. I have 2 German Shepherds, one of which is a mix with Greyhound. In their fenced in area he loves to run, and run fast. After my next half marathon, the North Carolina Half Marathon, on March 24th, I want to get him out to do some runs with me.
So laying here I started investigating the topic, and thought I would compile it here for anyone else wanting to run with their dogs.
According to Gotta Run Now’s blog, she lists five (5) tips:
1) Start out with low mileage and gradually add more, as you did when you started running.
2) Use a Gentle Leader Collar to reduce pulling.
3) If your dog starts to lag behind, it is time to slow up, rest, and consider heading back.
4) On warm days, carry a collapsible water bowl for water. It is easily carried in your fuel belt area.
5) She says that she allows her dog to decide how much s/he will drink, rather than coaxing him/her. They know what they require.
Others articles have referred to safety for both you and your dog. If you are running by yourself, a dog will come in handy for fending off anyone that may consider harassing you for whatever reason. Running with your dog also gives you a companion. It is far more fun and adventurous running with a friend, human or dog! If you are going to run with your dog, make sure it is visible as well to vehicles and others, like you do with the highly visible gear!
Here are some other points that related to this topic that I found important:
- Make sure your dog’s vet visits are up to date, and s/he is healthy enough for running. Just as it it is referenced in about all running advice articles, it is recommended that you check with your doctor before running, so why wouldn’t you do that also with your friend! This includes making sure his or her rabies and other shots are up to date.
- Know your dog’s breed. What is it’s history for endurance running and other such activities. Also, know your dog’s social personality. How does he react should you come across another dog or person in a yard or on a run themselves?
- KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH! Don’t be so proud that you think you know your dog, and that s/he will be fine off leash. You do not know what you may encounter along the way. To mention a few issues that come to mind are vehicular traffic, stray animals, or children in the area.
- Plan a routine. When you are training for marathons and half marathons, it may not be the greatest to take him or her on the longer runs with you. Plan shorter, consistent runs to take him or her on, where you are more flexible with your training.
- Watch your dog’s paws. You wear shoes, they do not. Be mindful of the effects of road and weather conditions on their feet. Hot asphalt or concrete will not be comfortable for them. Your dog will typically go wherever you go, and cannot really complain, so you have to be wise to these conditions.
- This one is important with or without running with your dog. Take your cell phone! You do not know what you may encounter along the way. Every run is different, even if it is the same route! Should you or your dog have an emergency, you can quickly seek out assistance.
- Here is one that I cannot stress enough, as I see it avoided a great deal where I run. Clean up after your dogs! If during your run your dog has to relive itself, be courteous and clean up after them. Pack a plastic bag in your running belt to address these issues.
- Obey your ordinances! Some locations do not allow animals. Be sure to follow the laws of your area, so as to not be fined or worse.
- Finally, make sure your dog is socialized to run. If s/he is going to “spaz” with every person or animal you pass along the way, it is not going to be beneficial for you or him/her. Make sure you do the basics before putting them in a new environment.
I hope this helps you with getting you a running partner out with you. I know s/he will enjoy running with you. I hope soon to have some pictures to post with us running some in the neighborhood!
Good luck and happy running!