Over the last few months I have taken to doing a lot of running with my dog. This is partly because I don’t have time to go for a run and then return home, get the dog and go for a walk with her each evening, partly because she seems to really enjoy it and partly because I really enjoy running with her. It’s a great experience, but if you want to do this, you need to be aware of a few things.
Here are some tips for running with your dog:
You’ve got to keep your dog hydrated on a run. I normally plot a course which crosses two places I know she can get water and we stop at each until she’s had enough.
Types of dog
Some breeds are just not good for long distance running. I always knew I’d run with my dog so picked a breed that was suited to it. Check with your vet before you go running 10 miles with your Pug! There’s a great article here which talks about types of dogs for types of runs and which breed is best for you and your running.
My dog is a slow runner – I don’t know if it’s just her, but she basically can’t get above an 8 minute mile without seeming a bit uncomfortable. I don’t mind this, I tend to push myself on all my runs and this is probably actually quite good for me to slow it down!
You’re going to have to accept that your dog will need to stop from time to time – you’ll also have to pick up poo and then run with the bag until you find a bin (not a nice feeling). I also stop to let my dog off her lead in certain areas where it’s safe to do so. All of this means you don’t get a nice steady run throughout.
At first she is too excited to run properly and will jump around as I run, this lasts about 2-3 minutes when she suddenly realises that she’s going to get pretty tired out if she keeps that going. If this is the same with your dog then it will cause some issues at the start of any run!
Watch out for cuts in paws from running on hard surfaces. You need to build up running distance over time with dogs and their paws will adapt to the hard surfaces. If your dog gets a cut or anything stuck in their paw, clean it properly and take them to the vet if it looks deep / infected.