5 Tips For Running With Your Dog

It’s getting warmer and warmer, summer is here and that means that it’s becoming great weather for exercising outside. I tend to let my gym membership lapse in the summer because I take up running, swimming, and other outdoor activities instead of being in a gym for a few hours a week. I used to dog walk for a few years and nice weather like spring and summer were great times to jog the dogs, but there were some that I wasn’t able to do that with.

If you want to turn your dog into your new running partner, it can take some time and retraining for your pup and you. Dogs will run and pace but they may pace faster than you, get easily distracted, and have to stop to pee. This can mean that your run isn’t smooth, your form gets a bit muddled, or you end up hurting yourself from abrupt yanks on the leash. Before embarking on a run, it would be best to make sure you and your pup are on the same page.

5 Tips To A Better Run With Your Dog

  1. Keep it light. For the same reasons that you keep your own running gear to a minimum, keep your dog’s as simple as possible as well. The less equipment your pet wears, the more naturally you will both move. Don’t use retractable leashes, a 6 ft leash that you hold in one hand or clip to your waist gives you control and lets your dog know the pace.
  2. Most runners follow some sort of training program, if your dog is new to this routine, start slow and keep runs short. Your dog needs to build endurance and you both need to make sure the run will be safe. A walk that involves a few blocks of jogging is a great way to start. It also helps to reinforce the commands of sitting, staying, and walking with you. Your dog’s body needs to adjust to the new routine so take it slow and give it a week before adding a little more time or distance or speed. Pay attention to your dog’s reaction to runs, just because you feel great doesn’t mean your dog does after 5 miles.
  3. Teaching or remind your dog the basic commands such as wait, slow, and heel. Once your dog has these commands down, introduce the command, “Turn.” This is a cue that you are changing the path to a new direction and cuts down on the chances of you tripping over your pup. Start wiuth walks to introduce “Turn” and try a few small jogs. It informs your dog that a change of pace is coming and to follow your lead.
  4. Make sure your pup is well-socialized. You’ll be eventually running by other people, dogs, and may run in a marathon or doggie dash one day. It’s important to know that your dog can focus on the run and not want to engage in any behaviors that are annoying to other dogs and owners. If needed, think about enrolling in a positive reinforcement class, working on being in crowded areas, and helping your dog gain experience with situations before taking on that 5K.
  5. Learn to read your dog’s body language. Canines heat up fast and will often keep going even if they’re hot or exhausted. Dogs only sweat through their paws, not their skin, and mainly release heat through panting; in addition, your dog is wearing a fur coat, making him less adept at running in the heat. Your dog can also get aches and injuries, have equipment rubbing or just become too exhausted to keep going. Think about running in early mornings or late evenings when the temperature hasn’t reach it highest point.

Good luck and have fun with your new exercise partner!
Image from The Jogging Dog

Hotel Manners: Tips When Traveling With Your Dog

Dogs can be great hotel guests and can make the other guests and staff happy by offering a wagging tail, happy face, and a few kisses. They also don’t steal towels, take the little shampoo bottles, or try to steal the paintings off the walls. When traveling with your dog, plan ahead and make reservations and let them know you have a pup with you. When you get to your hotel room, don’t forget your manners.

Here are 7 etiquette tips when staying at a hotel with your dog:

1: Bring a crate or carrier – when you do need to leave your dog in the hotel room alone, crate him to keep him out of trouble. But don’t leave your dog alone for long periods of time. He’s in a strange place, new sounds, new smells, and new people. This could make him nervous. Some hotels ask that dogs not be left alone at all in the room. If that is the case, you may want to opt for finding a boarding facility nearby for him.

2: Make sure your dog has gone potty before settling in for the night – you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a bad smell in the room and cleaning the stain could be gross for the staff. Plus, you’ll be charged on your credit card for it. Several potty breaks a day will help make sure your pup doesn’t get thrown off schedule and stays housebroken in a strange place.

3: Don’t forget to treat your dog for fleas and ticks – this isn’t just for when you are traveling but definitely make sure your dog doesn’t leave any guests behind or in your car, in your suitcase, or bring any home after the trip is over.

4: Check the hotel policies before staying there – if there is a pet fee, be aware of it before you stay so you’re not surprised when checking out and paying. It’ll save you and the staff surprises about extra fees or a higher bill than you expected.

5: Don’t wash your dog in the hotel tub – fur in the drain, dirt on the walls, and a soggy dog can create a mess for the staff to clean up. If your dog gets dirty on a hike through the local national park, look up a dog washing facility and take him there. Many of those places have a self-wash station and dryers so your pup is clean, dry, and returns to the hotel looking fabulous.

6: Bring your own dog supplies – don’t use the ice bucket as a water bowl, the towels as a pet bed, or the remote control as a chew toy. Bringing some items from home can help relieve any anxiety your dog may have being in a new place. Don’t forget the dog bowls, their bedding, toys, and treats.

7: Check with the hotel that they, in fact, do accept dogs – sneaking your dog into your hotel room can mean that you both get thrown out. Then what to do?!

Running with your Dog

Tips and Safety

Dogs should run for the same reasons that humans do. It helps them maintain muscle and tone, so that their bodies do not turn flabby. It also helps dogs have a faster metabolism, and be healthier overall and have more energy. Dogs that spend a good deal of time indoors should spend time exercising or running, or else they will have stored up energy and may become destructive. dog-running

When you want to get your dog to start running, don’t do it all at once. Start out walking short distances, and then long distances until you start to experiment with running. Do not take tiny puppies or older dogs, as they are not as fit to run. If you choose to run on the streets, run with your dog on your left side and go against traffic. Because dogs don’t have the protection of shoes, certain surfaces can be destructive. Asphalt is hot in the summer, and rocky surfaces may damage the feet. Grass is always a good option, for dogs and humans alike. If your dog has serious health problems, avoid running. When you run in the summer, try to either bring water or run by a place where your dog can access water. If you run at night, wear something bright and attach some bright colored tape to your dog’s collar. Don’t try to take your dog out when the sun is blazing, it is better to go out in the morning or evening.

Click here for more advice.

Events

If you and your dog are great running companions, check out some events. Dog Run Dog offers 5K and 10K runs for dogs and people, that could either be in your area, or could make for a great trip. So far this year there have been races in Saint Petersburg, Florida and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

For instance, on September 20, there is going to be a race in Norwich, Vermont, going through the woods and through town. It is a quaint location to visit, with rolling hills and an old country general store in town. For the West Coasters, there will be an event on October 10 in San Francisco, California. They will be holding a dog run race on Crissy Field beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, next to the beautiful SF Bay. It will be virtually flat and very scenic! Some other races are still in development.

Click here for the entry guidelines.