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.