Footsteps and Paw Prints

With the right training, you and your dog can be excellent running companions.

Cover Image: Running with your dog is a great fun way to stay fit and healthy. (womensrunning.competitor.com)

If you’re looking for a great running companion, you might not need to look further than man’s best friend. Running with your dog can be extremely fun and rewarding to the health of both yourself and your canine companion. Dogs, after all, are like humans who need to exercise regularly to stay fit and healthy. However, some dogs may need a little training and convincing to enjoy running, but, once you get them to do it, your running routines will never be the same. Here are some things to take note of if you wish to run with your dog.

IF THE DOG FITS


Before you get all excited to go running with your dog, find out if they are on the right age and the right breed. Medium dog breeds such as Retrievers, Viszlas, German shepherds, Dalmatians, and Terriers make excellent running companions, while toy or giant breeds are good for brisk walking. Ideally, your dog must be 18 months old just to make sure their skeleton has fully matured. Then again, you can always consult your nearest or vet to be sure.

TRAIN TOGETHER


Building a rapport for running with your dog doesn’t happen perfectly in an instant. With the right training, both you and your dog can avoid mishaps and accidents while you’re out on the trail. For instance, for some dogs run really fast from the get-go then can sometimes come to a sudden stop, which could leave you prone to accidents. Another instance could be that your dog would run off chasing cars or barking at people and other dogs. With that in mind, make sure you ease you and your dog into the habit and always pay attention to how they react to the environment. Start with going for strolls to get them comfortable and slowly build on the pace regularly. Ideally, you should use a leash that extends three feet from you so it would be long enough without risking yourself from tripping from it.

REFRESHMENTS AND REWARDS


Just like humans, dogs can get dehydrated from a long run. While you need to drink water every now and then when you go run, it’s very likely that your dog will need more. When running with your dog, always make it a point to carry enough water for the both of you. Carrying a few dog treats will also be a great way to reward and motivate your dog for his excellent behavior.

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Source: sports.inquirer.net

TRAILS THAT DON’T FAIL


Not all trails are suitable for dogs and you must consider several things in the environment for safety. It’s always best to pick a trail that have little-to-no to none traffic, and of course, wont have dangerous elements that could get you and your dog injured. Also, try running consistently on one trail to get you and your dog synced before running on new ones.

CLEAN UP


It’s wise to carry a litter bag in case your dog suddenly feels the need to do some ‘dirty’ business. Also, just like you needing to get a shower after a run, make sure your dog gets cleaned up as well especially their paws. Several debris from the trail could get stuck in their paws and hair which might get problematic if they weren’t cleaned up properly.

GO ON RUNNING DATES


Take note of local events for dogs and their owners and try to join them. Here in the Philippines, The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the pet-chain The Pet Express, and SM Malls, organize events that bring awareness to animal issues and of course, provide a fun bonding event between owners and their dogs.

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