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How to Run with a Dog

Dogs love manic running as much as they love chasing cats or rolling in dirt. But before you go on a jog, there are a few things to keep in mind.


  • Step 1: Dry your dog afterwards Keep an old towel handy to dry off your dog after runs through rain or snow. It’ll help him stay warm and keep your house clean.
  • FACT: Ultramarathon champ Scott Jurek used to run up to 30 miles a day with his husky, Tonto—the only training partner who could keep up with him.
  • Step 2: Get your dog a checkup Have your dog checked over by the vet to make sure he doesn’t have any physical issues that would stop him from regular running.
  • Step 3: Prepare for the run Dress for your run, grab an empty plastic bag, fill up your water bottle and load up a pocket with dog biscuits.
  • TIP: Avoid running with your dog right before or after you feed him. Give his stomach at least an hour to normalize.
  • Step 4: Check for ticks If you’re running in the woods or through fields, check your dog and yourself for ticks.
  • Step 5: Use a short leash Hold your dog on a short leash so he concentrates on you and your pace. Too long a leash and he’ll fixate on squirrels, passing cars, clouds and whatever else it is that distracts dogs.
  • Step 6: Start off on softer surfaces For the first few times, run on dirt, sand, or grass until his paws toughen up and his joints adapt to the pounding of running.
  • TIP: Run for 20 minutes every other day. Each week add five minutes to the run time.
  • Step 7: Don’t force the pace Avoid forcing the pace with your dog. If you do, they’ll hate running. It will take a few runs for your dog to develop the fitness and stamina to keep up with you.
  • TIP: If you’re thirsty, it’s highly likely that your dog is as well. Map a route that allows for water breaks for both of you every 20 minutes or so.
  • Step 8: Be sensitive to the weather Consider the weather and its effects on your dog. Hot asphalt and salted frozen concrete can hurt paws.
  • TIP: Short-haired dogs may need doggie coats or sweaters to help them stay warm in sub-freezing temps.

You Will Need

  • A three-to-five ft. leash
  • A plastic shopping bag for poop
  • Running shoes for you
  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Doggie treats
  • A full water bottle
  • A fanny pack
  • Portable doggie dish
  • An old towel

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