After taking 8 weeks off from running to rehabilitate a knee injury I sustained earlier in the year, both Bob and I started running again at the beginning of July. Obviously we started slow and short and I’m up to running 2 miles, and Bob did a 5k last week. To keep Pixel in tip top shape we’ve been taking him out on our runs too. He doesn’t have a great attention span, and I’ve fallen over him once already but he loves being with us, and loves to run so today I’m sharing some tips on running with your dog.
Tips for running with your dog
- Consider the dogs breed and age. As dogs age they get bone and joint issues just like humans so bear this in mind when you want to grab your dog for a quick mile. Similarly the breed will also influence your choice of activity with your dog. Dalmatians were bred to run along coaches and fire trucks, so they are a great running buddy. Flat faced breeds like pugs may not fare as well over distance.
- Pace your dog. Dogs like to run, not always in a straight line, and not always as the same speed. It can be, challenging when running with your dog to keep them consistent and focused. So it’s your job to pace them. Don’t go too fast, and build distance and time gradually. There are a few training programs out there for running with your dog, I like the pooch to 5k.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dogs pee, all the freakin time. But they have to be hydrated. This can be especially important in breeds like Dalmatians that can be prone to kidney and bladder problems. Hydrate – good for you and your dog. Take a camelbak or hydration belt,and a collapsible water bowl. I’ve even turned an unused poop bag into an emergency water bowl if I forget to take a bowl with me. Especially good if you pass water fountains on your walk.
- Pawdicure. Running shoes lose their cushion, bits of the sole slough off and you know how that pounding feels. Now imagine it without shoes and with four legs. When running with your dogs, treat your them to regular pawdicures by inspecting their feet before and after outdoor activities. This is especially important for dirt trails, or sand, which can be especially abrasive. Plus be on the look out for glass on city streets.
- Body language. Dogs, like children, are small and can dehydrate and overheat quickly. Look for glazed eyes, slowly down, heavy panting and foaming mouth for signs that you’ve overdone it. Usually your dog will just give up and hit the grass to cool down, but if the desire to please you is great they will run till they puke, and then run some more. Stop before they get to this point!
- Along with hydration, take spare poop bags and a leash. You might think your dog has a good recall, until the one time you see a squirrel or his best buddy across the street and the temptation is too great. All it takes is that “one time” and your dog could get injured, or worse.
PullyPup Hands Free Leash
As we started running from ground zero I decided to try out the PullyPup hands free leash. We’d run with Pixel before but it’s difficult with a regular leash and Pixel tends to get distracted easily. If I take out the doggy seatbelt he knows he’s going for a car ride, I figured the same thing might happen with running. He knows to stay close and run, not dart after squirrels.
The PullyPup comes with a 1 1/2″ belt, an elastic bungee leash and a bag attachment. Initially I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be strong enough as Pixel is a big dog, but the PullyPup is really well made, and the D rings to attach the leash are very sturdy. The bag attachment is a great touch as it fit my iPhone 6 perfectly and meant I didn’t need to have an extra belt or arm band. I also managed to get in keys and a couple of poop bags.
The waist belt adjusts from, 25″ -44″ waist making it great for either me or Bob, and it was easy to adjust. The design of the PullyPup though really stood out as the bag was detachable, and the elastic bungee leash had an attached handle and was able to clip to the belt/collar at either end. The bungee leash extends from 40″ to 67″ making it pretty good for running. Too far ahead and you’d be tripping over the elastic. Even if you don’t run, this is a good leash for walking. The elastic bungee leash makes it a great leash for dogs that pull, plus makes it easier on your arm and shoulder!
All in all we were both really impressed with the PullyPup and look forward to more runs with Pixel in the future.[tweetthis url=”http://wp.me/p1fDG1-1sg”]Lots of things to consider when #running with your dog, get some great tips from @workoutwithdi[/tweetthis]
Do you run with your pup?
Disclosure: It’s always my policy to make you aware… I received products in this post either for free or at a discounted price in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links to items that I recommend and use almost every single day. If you happen to click through and purchase, I might get paid. If I get paid, you might be supporting Pixels banana obsession.