I love the outdoors. I love the smell, the sights and the sounds. I also love the quiet. That’s why I enjoy taking one of my dogs with me when I hike, run, or go for a long walk. I enjoy their company and they don’t talk. 😉 They enjoy the outdoors as much or more than I.
Many of us enjoy the same. Running with our dogs is a very fun sport. Whether you are on a casual run or participating in Canicross, Cani-hiking or another mushing sport, there are a few things that are very important for the health and safety of your dog.
Start with short sessions and slowly increase duration and speed.
Dogs are like us in that their stamina has to be built. It isn’t safe to expect them to start running at full speed for a long distance. Take it at their pace and be sure to keep plenty of water on hand to rehydrate both of you! Check out this Couch to 5K program for dogs.
Warm up your dog.
Just like us, dogs need to warm up and cool down. They get sore just like we do and are prone to injury like us, so be sure to warm up with a slow 5 or 10 minute walk and some leg and neck stretches.
Run on unpaved trails and keep your dog’s nails trimmed to prevent pain and injury.
If you run on pavement often, I recommend using Musher’s Secret balm to protect your dog’s paw pads or condition your dog to some booties like these: https://amzn.to/3qgajnj
Not all dogs are designed for running.
Check with your vet to make sure your dog is ready to run. Never run a young puppy since their growth plate is not fully developed. Your vet should be able to provide you with an appropriate age for your dog. If your dog breed is prone to hip dysplasia, be sure to have them checked thoroughly.
To learn more about our Certified and Fear Free behavior and dog training services and programs, please visit our services page or give us a call at 706-830-7372.
*NOTE: If your dog is unresponsive to these techniques or you don’t feel comfortable implementing them, contact a trainer who is familiar with behavior modification in dogs. Do NOT attempt to do anything that will jeopardize your safety.