I have been running a lot lately with Penny the Pup. Recently, she ran her longest distance 11.11 miles as well as marking her highest mileage for the week at 28 miles. She is a great run buddy regardless if I am in a group or running solo. Penny even has her very own dailymile profile! Yep, I am one of those doggie moms! Recently, I have gotten a lot of questions in regards to running with my dog. I thought I would share some of my insight and things I have learned from Running with Dogs.
Before anything else, make sure your dog has a vet clearance to run. All dogs were born to run, but depending on the breed, it would be beneficial to know what distance they can cover and how fast they can run.
Make sure your dog is fully developed in growth. Starting them off to young of age might cause problems later on down their dog road of life. Starting them off as a puppy is certainly okay, but again, please consult your vet.
Like any beginner runner, it is important to build up on miles. You can’t expect yourself to go out and run a half marathon without ever running, don’t expect your dog to do the same. I started Penny the Pup off at a 5k and built up from there. Not only am I cautious with her daily miles, but I look at weekly too. When Penny and I go out for a long run, I make certain that the next day is a rest day even though she does not know the meaning of the word REST!
Weather! A no brainer, but always run with your dog in cooler temperatures. Right now in the summer, I run with Penny in the early morning. If the heat early in the morning is questionable, I do the hand test. Put the back of your hand on the cement or road. If it is hot for you, it is going to be hot to the pooch’s paws. Leaving your dog at home might be the best option.
Hydration! No matter what the weather conditions are, make sure your dog is hydrating! Every 45 minutes, stop and give your dog water. For some reason Penny does not like to drink out of a plastic dog container, so I make sure we are at least running along a body of water like a lake or river. It might take longer to finish my run, but I know that I am taking the extra precautions to keep Penny safe and hydrated.
Fuel! Yes, like us humans, dogs need to fuel too! In the morning I usually give Penny her breakfast a half an hour to 45 minutes before we hit the pavement or dirt. She is fed twice a day and for dinner, I give her extra portions to supplement the calories she burned. Penny is a younger dog who when rescued was under weight. So for her, I don’t mind giving extra food when she is working hard. Every dog is different however and your vet will know best. It also might be a good idea to bring along some treats for your four legged running companion during the run.
Dogs can’t talk, but they can certainly give you signs that they are tired. Foaming at the mouth, glazed eyes, and a slower pace all might be signs that your dog needs to stop. Pay attention and give your canine a break!
A shitty conversation, but it happens. Right in mid run your dog stops to poop! I think this should be obvious, but I am shocked that there are still people out in the world who don’t pick up after their dog! Bring doggie bags. A lot of trails and bike paths now provide this as a lovely service at the entrances. Take advantage or you might very well be the one to mistakenly run in poop next time.
Bike paths can get crowded with runners, walkers, bikers, to name a few. Making sure you have a proper length leash (not to long) will ensure running safety for not only you and your dog, but others on the path.
As always, praise your running buddy for doing a great job!
I like to give Penny the Pup a good massage afterwards. Perhaps I am spoiling her, but who doesn’t like a good massage after a hardcore run?
Running with your dog is a great way to bond with your furry friend. It also is a fantastic way to burn off all that everlasting energy they seem to have.Do you run with your dog? What tips do you have for keeping both you and your dog running healthy and happy?