There’s nothing quite like running with your best furry friend by your side. With their infectious energy and enthusiasm, dogs are the perfect running companion. However, unlike us, our pets can’t communicate their needs as clearly so it’s best to pay special attention to them whilst training them to run alongside you. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, here are our top tips to get you on your way:
- It’s important to remember that the skeleton of most dog breeds is fully grown after approximately one year. If put under too much stress before that, they may experience complications later in life. For best practice, speak to your vet for the recommended level of exercise for your dog’s age.
- Typical breeds that are known to be good running partners include, Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. On the other hand, smaller dogs such as Dachshunds, Pugs and Bulldogs are not best suited for long-distance running due to their small frames and respiratory systems.
- Make sure you have enough water for the both of you. There are plenty of sports bottles and collapsible dog bowls which you can purchase online to ensure you both stay hydrated.
- Try not to hit the ground running - just like us, dogs need to warm up their muscles before they go straight for a run. Start off at a gentle pace to ensure you protect both you and your dog against injuries.
- Protect those paws! While it’s inevitable you’ll have to use pavement at some point, try and choose a trail or grassy soft surface over hard surfaces.
- Take it easy - any prolonged lethargy during or after a run, noticeable soreness, limping or difficulty in getting up or lying down are good indications you've pushed your pup too far. Once in a consistent routine, you’ll soon get used to what’s normal behaviour for your dog.
Do you have any tips for running with your dog? Don’t forget to share your advice and any running photos on the Harringtons Facebook page.