With the London marathon just around the corner, here at Harringtons we want to encourage more people to get running with their pooches. It’s no secret that we love walking but running can help boost both your endorphins, and dogs are great motivation to keep you going at that half way point.
1. Be prepared
Just like humans, if your dog isn’t used to running then don’t expect them to instantly run a 5k. Once your pooch is over 1 year of age, start off slowly by introducing some light jogging into your daily walks for 5 – 10 minutes at a time; which will gradually get them used to running by your side.
2. Choose your route wisely
Much like the trainers you choose for your own run, the more cushioned the ground, the better for your pooch. Forest trails, meadows or sand are ideal, as dog paws are highly sensitive and can get sore on hot pavements during the summer.
3. Look out for rest cues
It can take a toll on a dog’s limbs if they’re running long distances on a regular basis, so it’s best to keep an eye out for any signs during/after a run that your pooch may need a rest. Little things such as your dog refusing to run, strong and fast panting, dark red tongue or pale mouth mucosa can all mean that it’s time to stop.
4. Don’t increase their food plan
Generally, the more exercise you do, the more fuel you need to consume to keep you going. The same is not necessarily said for dogs. As long as they’re eating a good quality, balanced diet, then extra portions won’t be needed. Our Harringtons adult dog food all contain a great source of vitamins and protein, which are essential for muscle maintenance and energy.
5. Give them some freedom
Harringtons dog walking expert and fitness guru Lucy Fitness regularly runs outdoors with her pooch Gatsby. To make the most of it, her top tip would be to “move to running off the lead as soon as possible to allow for a smoother run. Dogs often like to stop and sniff new smells and it can be a bit jerky if you have them on a short lead. Don't get too far ahead though, you always want to be close enough to pop the lead on if you need to, or to pick up any poop along the way.”
Above all it’s important that both you and your pooch enjoy your run, to make the most of the exercise. As we’re well into Spring, why not take some tips from Lucy Fitness over on our hub to help get you moving. Don’t forget to share any snaps from your runs with us over on the Harringtons Facebook page!