Running With Your Dog


Photo by Jayme Dukart |

Running with your dog is a great workout for you and your four-legged friend. Before getting started with a running routine, check out these tips to make sure your dog enjoys it as much as you do.


  • Use a harness. Harnesses distribute pressure more evenly around your dog’s body and takes pressure off his delicate neck.
  • Use a solid 4 or 6ft reflective leash. This will ensure your dog stays close to you while running and will help oncoming traffic see you in low light. Reflective collars and special coats also help increase visibility.
  • Talk to your vet before running with your dog to ensure he or she is fit enough to do so. Your dog might need time to build enough stamina to keep up with you.
  • Take water. Allow your dog to drink small quantities at regular intervals rather than a large amount at the end of your run.
  • Make sure your dog is happy to run with you. There is nothing worse than seeing a dog being dragged by a well-meaning runner unaware of their dog’s discomfort.


  • Use a choke chain or prong collar. These collars can do a lot of damage to your dog’s neck, causing pain, discomfort and severe physical problems that result from pressure and constriction.
  • If you have problems walking your dog, take a little time to teach them not to pull by going to training class or hiring a private trainer to help you. A regular flat buckle collar to walk your dog and a harness and regular leash for running will then be all you need.
  • Exercise vigorously with a small puppy or elderly dog. Too much physical exercise can damage growing bones and muscles and put undue pressure on aging bodies.
  • Exercise vigorously just after your dog has eaten. Wait for an hour to run after a meal and once the run is over, wait another hour before you give food again. This will ensure your dog does not develop a potentially lethal condition called bloat that can occur when food mixes with too much air that enters the stomach during exercise.
  • Run in the heat of the day. Dogs are closer to the ground than you are and therefore heat up quicker. Hot roads can also damage sensitive paw pads.
  • Let your dog drink from puddles as they might contain chemicals such as Ethylene glycol that is used as an antifreeze agent in cars. These chemicals have a sweet taste that dogs find attractive but can be lethal if ingested.
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